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Busia records low Covid-19 positive cases in community samples

Busia County has recorded 40 Covid-19 positive cases out of 12,000 community samples taken since inception of targeted testing last month.

According to the  Busia County Universal Health Coverage Director, David Mukabi, the 40 patients are spread across the seven sub counties and are currently receiving treatment at the Covid-19 isolation and treatment centres at Alupe Hospital and Agricultural Training Centre.

“So far out of the 12,000 tests carried out, we have only managed to get 40 patients from the community, meaning the infection rate is on the lower side, although this does not mean we stop implementing the protocols and guidelines which have been given by the government,” Mukabi disclosed.

Mukabi said, the low figures presumably indicate the coronavirus transmission rate among local residents is still low. He was speaking to the press on Saturday where he further noted that they are conducting targeted testing, across the seven Busia sub counties especially, where health service providers are operating from.

“Right now we are not testing everybody. We are just doing targeted testing depending on the availability of test kits,” he said adding, “our intention is to be able to ascertain the extent to which the community is affected.”

The director disclosed that his team has rolled out a programme in which people visiting health facilities to seek treatment get tested for Covid-19 on a voluntary basis.

He said the testing exercise is becoming expensive hence the government is currently recommending that only those with symptoms should be tested for the virus.

“At the end of it all, those who test positive but don’t show symptoms do not really require any specific treatment,” he stated.

He said the county has the capacity to contain the spread of the virus so long as residents observe the health protocols set by the Ministry of Health.

Currently, Busia is ranked fifth in terms of positive cases after Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Kajiado respectively.

Last week, the County’s Health Chief Officer, Isaac Omeri said plans are underway to establish more Covid-19 treatment and isolation centres and expand the county’s bed capacity to 402 in anticipation of more positive cases from the community.

In the arrangement, 30 beds will be installed at Kocholya Level Four Hospital in Teso North, Nambale hospital-30, Sio-Port-30, Khunyangu-30 and Port  Victoria hospital-24.

Currently, the county is dependent on the two isolation centres at Alupe Hospital and Agricultural Training Centre.

By  Melechezedeck Ejakait

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