Leaders in Lamu County have been urged to desist from politicizing the war to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic as infection figures shot to 21 since the first case was reported two weeks ago.
Lamu Governor Fahim Yassin Twaha advised politicians to instead concert their efforts to create awareness among local communities on risks the novel Corona virus pose to their general welfare and socioeconomic standing as a county.
The county has so far recorded two COVID-19 related deaths with cases still expected to rise when the planned mass testing gains ground in the county.
Voluntary testing has so far been carried out mostly on county health workers and hotel staff but was yet to trickle down to the general public.
“There is need for the political leadership to steer clear off desensitizing residents over the COVID-19 crisis, as we urge residents to adhere to the Ministry of Health regulations to curb the spread of the pandemic in Lamu,” Twaha said.
He further revealed that the county health department has independently commissioned a risk mapping research of the most at risk areas within Lamu, with the aim to come up with suitable mitigation measures to curb the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“Unfortunately provisional findings reveal that residents are not strictly adhering to MOH regulations of wearing masks and social distancing,” the Lamu governor said.
He decried that 70 percent of those interviewed in the survey conveyed ignorance over the need to observe the containment measures and urged locals to seriously take the preventive guidelines.
“As much as the national and county government work together, the first line of defence is the public who should be wary over the harm that the pandemic can do to our economy and quality of life,” he observed.
Sentiments echoed by Lamu Health CEC Dr. Ann Gathoni who reiterated that the county government had taken sufficient steps towards managing COVID-19 within the county.
She said there was enough Protective gears and equipment for medical personnel to handle positive COVID-19 cases.
“We also have separate male and female isolation wards for seriously affected cases by COVID-19 though we expect that most of those who are likely to contract the virus will just need home based care,” she added.
The county government has also taken steps to hiring more medical personnel in light of the shortage that we had earlier had and this will aid in increasing our capacity to handle health issues beyond the COVID-19 crisis,” Dr. Gathoni added.
Lamu County Commissioner Macharia urged citizens to adhere to the COVID-19 MOH rules adding that unless residents follow them to the letter numbers and even fatalities are likely to increase.
“Residents need to be aware and wary that COVID-19 is real and not a myth, and local leaders need to be at the forefront of providing viable solutions in containing the spread, by way of creating awareness and being an example to the communities they live in,” Macharia said.
By Amenya Ochieng