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Covid-19: Turkana rolls out mass testing of its staff

The  County Department of Health Services and Sanitation in Turkana is targeting to test about 400 employees for Covid-19 in the next one week.

The  exercise which is in its third phase is part of the wider efforts of the county to determine the extent to which coronavirus disease has spread in the county.

The  exercise comes at a time when the number of Covid-19 cases in the county has surged to 43. Out of the cases, 17 have recovered while 26 are still active.

Speaking  on Tuesday during the launch of the third phase of testing, the Health CEC, Jane  Ajele said, “health care workers will be part of the people to be tested in the process.”

According to Dr. Roberts  Abok, the Chief Officer for Health Services, the 33 samples that were randomly collected from the county headquarters during the previous phases of the exercise had all turned negative.

Dr. Abok called on all the people who had been tested not to have a false sense of belief that they were safe. The health chief reiterated the need for correct wearing of face masks as well as handwashing with soap and water as the primary methods of limiting exposure to the virus causing the Covid-19 situation.

James Maragia, the County Medical Laboratory Coordinator (CMLC) said that the plans had been put in place to ensure timely delivery of all the samples collected to the designated Covid 19 testing laboratories in Kenya.

Maragia  clarified that the testing will be conducted in all the seven sub counties voluntarily and called upon staff to make use of the opportunity in the best way possible by turning out in large numbers during sample collection.

Following deliberations of the County Health Rapid Response team, the sub county emergency response teams will be responsible for the identification of the high risk population in their areas for targeted testing.

By  Peter  Gitonga

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