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Health Officials in Lamu optimistic of containing coronavirus spread

The Chinese Communications Construction Company official, addressing National and County Government officials, led by the Lamu County Commissioner, Macharia Irungu and Lamu Health CEC, Dr. Ann Kabi Gathoni over preventive measures put in place to keep Coronavirus outbreak at bay on Wednesday March 18, 2020. Photo by Amenya Ochieng/KNA.
Protective suit demonstration at the Lamu Port to aid in handling affected workers in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at the port area. Photo by KNA.

Public Health Officials in Lamu have reassured residents in the County that rigorous measures and the necessary precautions for public safety are in place to safeguard against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Lamu County Executive  Committee member for Health (CEC), Dr. Ann Kabi Gathoni  spoke to KNA  on Wednesday about the County Government’s strategy to ensure the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 does not gain entry and further disrupt normalcy within the coastal town.

“So far we have designated two areas within the King Fahd Referral Hospital premises, where those in case might contract the coronavirus will be quarantined,” he informed.

“We have designated a pediatric wing of the hospital to cater for male patients and the women’s maternal shelter to cater for women in case of a quarantine emergency,” Dr. Gathoni stated.

She said that the County Government had placed an order for quarantine suits from Nairobi for medics who will be handling the cases when the need arises.

“Public health officials are also on the ground educating the residents over how to exercise basic hygiene and methods to keep the virus at bay to avoid an outbreak,” she also revealed.

However, a spot check by KNA, revealed that the County Government had yet to fully equip the Isolation Units with beds and other isolation material in case of an outbreak.

A  tour of Mpeketoni town, market revealed that residents as well as health care service providers have taken it upon themselves to put in place initiatives to aid in preventing a coronavirus outbreak in the area.

The Mpeketoni market now has a fully installed 500-litre water tank sponsored by the Siha Medical Services Hospital that will have water replenished by market users regularly.

“Mpeketoni town and its market really is the bread basket of the entire County, hence it is upon us all to ensure we have preventive measures in place to curb any spread of the virus,” Abraham Wachenje, Siha Hospital Coordinator stated.

He further added that the Hospital has also been engaging with public health officials as well as law enforcement officials over how to ensure that the COVID-19 virus does not penetrate the town.

“The County Government needs to up its game and ensure that they have a fool proof plan for the Mpeketoni market where at the moment, we are all sitting ducks, waiting for the disease to come and cause chaos,” Miriam Wamoyo, a business woman intimated.

Mzee Kale, a businessman within the market also noted that the County Government can do better by ensuring the market is regularly kept clean and well designed for all users in order for there not to be an outbreak of any sort.

The Lamu County Commissioner (CC), Macharia Irungu said that the National Government was working hand in hand with the County Government to enforce preventive measures that will ensure that there is no outbreak within the coastal town.

He further said that the Chinese Construction Company had put in place a quarantine area for those unfortunately may be infected with the virus move in and out of the facility restricted until the threat of an outbreak is addressed.

Lamu Port workers and contractors are now expected to live and work within the premises in a bid to prevent an outbreak that is likely to slow down port works operations.

The  KPA Lamu Superintendent, Abdishukri  Osman  further denied allegations that there is a Coronavirus outbreak within the port area, saying that the contractors have put in place adequate measures and that there is minimal likelihood of any Coronavirus outbreak.

By  Amenya  Ochieng

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