WATCH | Kenyan governor under fire for including Hennessy in Covid-19 care packages

20 April 2020 - 14:57 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Kenyan governor Mike Sonko is under fire for including alcohol in Covid-19 care packages.
Kenyan governor Mike Sonko is under fire for including alcohol in Covid-19 care packages.
Image: Twitter/Mike Sonko

Kenyan governor Mike Sonko has come under fire for including Hennessy cognac in Covid-19 care packages, claiming that it protects against the virus. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned against alcohol consumption during lockdown, saying it can increase the risk of catching the coronavirus and worsen chances of recovery once the virus is contracted.

Last week, Sonko said he would include “small bottles of Hennessy” in the food parcels handed out to people during the pandemic, Citizen TV Kenya reported.

Kenya has 270 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 14 deaths.

Sonko justified the inclusion of alcohol by saying that cognac was a “throat sanitiser”.

“I think from the research that has been conducted by the World Health Organisation and various health organisations, it is believed that alcohol plays a major role in killing the coronavirus, or any sort of virus,” he said

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The WHO said alcohol was not a safeguard against the virus and called on governments around the world to tighten restrictions on access to alcohol during lockdown.

The global organisation explained that alcohol consumption was associated with several communicable and noncommunicable diseases that can make a person more vulnerable to catching the virus.

The CEO of the medical non-profit Amref Health Africa, Dr Githinji Gitahi, slammed Sonko and urged Kenyans not to listen to him.

He also asked Kenya’s ministry of health to condemn Sonko's words.

Hennessy has rejected Sonko’s claims that alcohol can protect someone from getting the virus.

“Hennessy would like to stress that the consumption of our brand or any other alcoholic beverage does not protect against the virus,” the company told Nairobi News.


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