The Kwale Governor, Salim Mvurya and the county women representative, Zuleikha Hassan have asked area residents to abide by the ‘stay at home’ order over the novel coronavirus pandemic.
They urged those who choose to venture outside for necessities to keep a safe distance from others to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus also called covid-19.
The two leaders on Monday said the decision by the Ministry of Health to ask Kenyans to stay at home and avoid social gatherings is not a ‘permanent state’ but a temporary move as coronavirus continues to spread worldwide.
The coastal county has one coronavirus case and the patient, a French tourist was quarantined in Msambweni sub county hospital over the weekend. There are plans to fly to him to Mbagathi hospital in Nairobi.
“The quarantined patient is continuing with treatment and plans are underway to fly him to Nairobi for further treatment,” said Mvurya.
The county boss further noted those who came into contact with the individual were under self-quarantine and have also been placed under observation.
“I urge all the people to aggressively observe all hygiene requirements as advised and publicized by our public health officers, the security agencies and the media,” he said.
“We have to observe these public health measures in order to break the chain of spread and remain safe from any infections,” he noted.
Mvurya asked people to embrace hand washing, social distancing and personal hygiene as a social responsibility in the wake of the pandemic.
“Once again, I wish to ask all citizens in Kwale County to observe hygiene as well as report any suspected cases,” said the governor.
On her part, the women rep said it was important to note that high standards of hygiene were effective in stopping the spread of the viral disease.
She warned people against taking part in gatherings and advised them to avoid crowded places as precautionary measures.
Kenya has confirmed eight more coronavirus cases raising the number of those infected to fifteen.
The eight, five Kenyans, two Frenchmen and a Mexican, were said to have arrived in the country through Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, dry cough and difficulty in breathing and some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross Society under the Emergency Response Programme, over the weekend donated hand-wash materials to the Department of Public Health, Garissa County, to support hygiene promotion as a measure to combat the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.
According to the Organization’s North Eastern Regional Manager, Mohamed Abdikadir, the donation included 1,000 each of (20 litres jericans, 10 litres jericans and buckets) and 25 cartons of soap to support and encourage hand washing and sensitize the community on the need to uphold high standards of hygiene during the stop Coronavirus campaign period.
Abdikadir said the community should enhance hand washing in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the novel pandemic that has devastated hundreds of countries all over the word.
According to WHO, as at the weekend globally, 294,110 confirmed cases had been reported and over 12,944 dead. In Kenya there are 15 positive COVID-19 cases. Of the additional eight new cases, three are foreigners (two French and a Mexican). They are aged between 20 and 57 who all came through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) between 4th March and 15th March 2020.
Abdikadir dismissed myths by a section of the community that the virus ‘is not targeting Muslims and that the virus cannot survive in areas with high temperatures’.
“Countries with similar climatic conditions as North Eastern among them Saudi Arabia have reported cases of Corona virus. These myths are misinformed,” Abdikadir said.
He urged the community to only adhere to messages from the Ministry of Health, WHO and other partners.
Receiving the consignment on behalf of the County Government, Director of Health Administration, Abdullahi Daud, thanked all the partners who have joined the County in preparedness to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Daud stressed the need by the community to follow the public health directives in order to stop the spread of the virus.
At the same time, the Kenya Red Cross is conducting training of officers from Garissa GK prisons on how to scale-up the hand-washing among inmates.
The Deputy Officer-In-Charge of facility, Peter Komora, also thanked the Kenya Red Cross for identifying with the Prison Department at a time when the country is staring at a possible outbreak of the Coronavirus.
The County Government Department of Public Health has enhanced body temperature screening exercise at the Tana Bridge police barrier in Garissa town for all passengers travelling to and from Garissa.
The exercise is part of a wider campaign by the government to stop the spread of the Corona virus.
According to the officer conducting the screening, Sahal Shire, the exercise is not meant create anxiety and panic among residents and the travelers.
“These are preparedness steps where any passenger who exhibits body temperature beyond 38 degrees centigrade will be isolated and blood samples subjected to laboratory tests to ascertain the cause of the fever.
There are close to twenty 50 seater buses plying the Garissa – Nairobi route on a daily basis making it a hotspot for the spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Health has maintained and stressed that it is very important Kenyans observe high levels of hygiene and must maintain the directed social distance, as an effective measure to combat the virus.
By Hussein Abdullahi/Jacob Songok