One health worker has succumbed to Covid-19 in Turkana county, while 20 others who tested positive for the virus have been put under isolation.
Speaking during mashujaa day celebrations in Lodwar Tuesday, Governor Josphat Nanok said the fallen laboratory technician worked at Lwarengak hospital.
Nanok also said the government has temporarily decided to close sections of Lodwar county referral hospital for fumigation.
“Sections of Lodwar County Referral Hospital will not offer services to the public in the next few days following plans to fumigate the areas after some health care workers tested positive for Covid-19,” he said.
The governor asked residents of Lodwar as well as other people seeking services from the hospital to use health facilities within Lodwar municipality and its environs as alternatives.
He said when he visited the referral hospital last week most of the health care workers had not put on their facemasks.
At the same time, Nanok said additional health care workers will soon be employed following a successful recruitment exercise recently conducted by the Turkana County Public Service Board.
While explaining that the closure was only a temporary measure to allow for redistribution of staff and ensure full fumigation of the affected areas, Nanok called on the general public to put on face masks at all times as the most basic measure of covid-19 prevention.
Apart from the Lodwar Referral Hospital, Nanok has further said that Covid-19 pandemic had badly affected Kakuma refugee camp where numbers of infected persons had been skyrocketing daily.
Turkana Central MP John Lodepe supported the move with a call for a speedy return to normalcy. He lauded the health care workers as the real heroes of modern times for their selfless service in treating persons infected with Covid-19 as part of their daily routine.
The MP empathized with health care workers at the Lodwar Referral Hospital who have been infected with covid-19 in the line of duty and called upon the government to ensure full supply of PPEs to the staff going forward.
On his part, the county Senator Prof. Malachy Ekal said the virus was real and cautioned those saying it would disappear.” The virus is real and that is why we have to be careful not to contract it or spread it, ” he said.
Turkana county has witnessed an upsurge in the cases of Coronavirus, especially after the government eased out on some of the containment measures including reopening of bars.
By Peter Gitonga