Kiambu County plans to kick-start mass testing for Covid-19 at Thika’s highly populous Kiandutu slums from next week, Governor James Nyoro has said.
Nyoro said he had initiated talks with the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to have the exercise conducted in the area, since it was a high risk informal settlement.
Speaking during a food donation exercise for 500 slum residents in the area Saturday, the Governor said they expect response from the Health Ministry this week for the exercise to commence.
He said the area being highly populous made it difficult for residents to follow the social distancing rule putting them at risk of contracting the virus.
The slum is highly populous with over 20,000 poor residents.
The County has five Covid-19 cases that were drawn from a residential house in Ruaka, causing panic and fear among the county dwellers.
“Most slum dwellers are potential victims as a number don’t wear face masks or keep social distance. We need to start testing for the virus to know the extent of infections,” said the Governor.
He said the County government will also give out free masks to the residents during the mass testing exercise.
Hundreds of residents camped outside the Kiandutu Social Hall where the governor was addressing the beneficiaries, hoping to get a share of the rations, but they were forced to go home empty-handed.
They would be heard castigating the county government claiming that they should have brought several trucks of food items arguing that each family needed food relief.
Some wondered why the County government chose to selectively distribute the food to the few knowing quite well that all the slum dwellers were in dire need of food.
However, Nyoro told the crowd that he had come for a monitoring exercise and that food distribution to all families would begin on Thursday next week.
He said they would use chiefs and their assistants to distribute the food donations to the slum dwellers.
By Muoki Charles