Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has issued a passionate plea to area residents to be vigilant and protect themselves against the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The governor expressed concerns that in spite of people witnessing the havoc wrought by the more infectious Covid-19 variants, some of them had remained unconcerned and continued to disregard protection protocols issued by the Ministry of Health.
Speaking during an inspection tour of Narumoru Hospital in Kieni, Governor Kahiga said the number of people seeking treatment for the disease was on the rise, a fact he attributed to general laxity to adhering to the prescribed protocols and public health measures.
Nyeri County has so far recorded 1,326 Covid-19 cases with 52 fatalities and fears are rife that the figures could increase if residents continue to flout the guidelines issued by the government in the fight against the spread of the highly contagious respiratory disease.
In a spirited effort to give the fight against the disease impetus, the governor has suspended all government meetings, trainings or any form of public gatherings for the next 30 days after the Covid-19 positivity rate in the county reached 25 percent, a figure higher than the national positivity rate which stands at 17 percent.
The governor noted that Nyeri County has witnessed an increased number of Covid-19 infections in the last two weeks, coupled with a significant rise in patients presenting themselves with mild to severe symptoms.
Two-thirds of the overall Covid-19 cases are from Nyeri Central sub- county which has continuously recorded the highest burden since the onset of the pandemic.
The devolved unit’s department of health has continued to issue guidelines including several public health notices/advisories on Covid-19 prevention measures.
The measures include re-testing all food handlers, facilitating county government workers aged 58 years and above to access the Covid-19 vaccine and undertaking regular fumigation of offices, public washrooms and vehicles among others.
The governor has also urged workers to minimize walk-in visitors to county offices except by prior appointment and that all staff and persons visiting Government facilities/institutions must always wear face masks that cover both the nose and mouth.
“The County Department of Health will also enhance inspection and supervision of all public premises including restaurants, churches, eateries, supermarkets, markets, among others and all departments must have functional hand-washing facilities that are well labelled,” said the governor.
He further directed all departments to have personnel stationed in all entry points to carry out temperature screening for staff and clients using functional contact free thermometers.
The governor also encouraged the front line workers to go for Covid-19 vaccine which is being conducted at selected hospitals in the county which include Nyeri Referral Hospital, Outspan Hospital, Mathari Hospital, TumuTumu Hospital, Othaya Level 6 Hospital, Mukurwe-ini Hospital, Karatina Hospital and Othaya Sub County Hospital.
Plans are underway to start the exercise in Narumoru and Mweiga hospitals.
The county has already received 6,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid – 19 vaccine.
by Kiamah Wamutitu