Five more people were on Tuesday placed on a 14 day forced quarantine in Nakuru after they violated guidelines and directives issued by the government to stop spread of Covid-19 pandemic bringing the total number of those forcefully confined to 11 in the past two days.
County Commissioner Erastus Mbui Mwenda said the culprits will be quarantined at their cost and that they will be later arraigned before law courts to answer various charges.
Mbui said it had been established that the five who were sent to the Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI) Isolation facility in Nakuru had come into contact with a body of person who had been confirmed to have succumbed to Covid 19.
Speaking at Governor’s offices in Nakuru during weekly briefings on Covid-19 situation in the region the administrator stated that following inquiries by health workers, NyumbaKumi Committee members and law enforcement personnel and information volunteered by villagers, it had been established the five ‘jointly’ washed up the corpse, dressed and buried it without personal protective equipment and with disregard to guidelines issued by the Health Ministry on how to dispose of bodies of Covid 19 victims.
On Monday evening Mbui announced that six persons had been forcefully quarantined at the Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI) Isolation facility after they were found taking illicit brews outside the curfew hours.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui revealed that separately 191 persons are being held in various Isolation facilities within the devolved unit.
He said so far tests of 186 persons had returned a negative result, while 5 other results had not been received from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) laboratories in Nairobi.
The County boss said it had been resolved that after medical observation and completion of quarantine period the eleven persons on forced quarantine would be arraigned before law courts to answer to an array of charges ranging from contravening the Ministry of Health directives, disobeying curfew restriction order and drinking illicit brews.
He said health workers have in past week screened 2,119 long distance truck drivers out of which 3 who demonstrated symptoms consistent with Covid 19 had been placed under quarantine and were undergoing medical observation.
Mr Kinyanjui said both his administration and the national government had increased surveillance at long distance truck parking bays at Salgaa, Mau Summit, Mai Mahiu, Kikopey, Gilgil and Naivasha areas he said had been mapped as Covid 19-high risk zones.
“We have conducted public awareness campaigns to residents in these regions to be extra alert. These drivers are known to ply Mombasa, parts of Rwanda and Uganda which have been singled out as hotspots for the virus,” affirmed the governor.
The County boss said that out of 45 samples taken from Nakuru residents, two had turned positive for the virus. He however said the duo had fully recovered, discharged and allowed to be reintegrated with their families after medical experts gave them a clean bill of health.
He stated that a special treatment centre with 4 Intensive Care Unit beds had been set up at the Nakuru PGH Annex Hospital Wing to exclusively cater for health workers who may have come in contact with Corona Virus in the line of their duty. His administration said Kinyanjui had rolled out mass testing of health workers for the virus.
Mbui stated that the County Security Committee had activated the NyumbaKumi initiative to help in tracking members of the public moving or congregating during curfew hours and that technology would also be used in tracking those violating curfew restriction orders.
“Those on forced quarantine will be arraigned before a court of law to answer to various charges. Stricter measures will be put in place unless people are disciplined,” warned the administrator.
Mbui said the government has enough centres to hold those who violate the rules and urged for compliance. He warned bar owners will be punished for allowing revelers into their premises.
The administrator affirmed that the issue of quarantine shall not be stopped because of inability to pay and warned those caught breaking the law will be quarantined at their own cost.
“People need to take this thing seriously. If the government says no to gatherings and drinking of alcoholic drinks it means so. If told you have to be in your house by 7PM please oblige. The six are going into quarantine and nobody will sponsor them during that period,” he said.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi on Sunday announced that the government had introduced a new measure to ensure compliance with the curfew hours in the fight against Covid-19.
Dr. Mwangangi said that Kenyans found outside of their houses during curfew will now be assumed to have contacted suspected cases of coronavirus and will, therefore, be placed under quarantine.
“Going forward, fellow Kenyans, all those who break the curfew rules will be assumed to have been in contact with suspected cases, hence, will be quarantined for a period of 14 days,” she said.
By Anne Mwale