Operations at the Siaya county government headquarters have come to a halt and staff ordered to work from home after several senior staff members allegedly tested positive for Corona virus.
Though none of the senior county officials want to open up on the matter, a memo from the county secretary, Joseph Ogutu to all County Executive Committee members dated August 4, 2020 ordered that they work from home in view of the surge in spread of the virus.
“You are advised to continue working from home while you observe all the protocols and guidelines stipulated by the ministry of health and the county health department on prevention and spread of Covid 19,” said Ogutu in the memo that was copied to among others, Siaya governor, Cornel Rasanga, his deputy, Dr. James Okumbe and all chief officers.
The County Secretary further asked the CECs to ensure that the contents of the memo were brought to the attention of all staff working in the county government.
He said that henceforth, all departmental and interdepartmental business will be conducted virtually unless otherwise advised by the governor himself.
The memo, Ref. CGS/OCS/HTH/COVID/115 Vol.1 (180), comes in the wake of reports that several members of the county cabinet have tested positive to the virus that is ravaging the globe.
According to several senior and junior workers who sought anonymity for fear of reprisal, several of their seniors tested positive when tests were carried out last week but the matter has been kept top secret.
“We are a worried a lot because these people keep on operating as if nothing has happened. One of the senior officers who was admitted at Aga Khan hospital in Kisumu after testing positive has resumed office and we do not know whether he has recovered or not” said a worried worker.
Meanwhile, the Siaya County Commissioner (CC), Michael ole Tialal, who co-chairs the county Covid- 19 committee with the governor said the virus was spreading fast in the county and called for strict observance of the established protocols.
Tialal who spoke to Kenya News Agency, said that seven police officers in the county had tested positive for the virus. “Three police officers from Bondo police station tested positive after tests were carried out following the death of the sub county police commander recently,” he said.
He said that two police officers in Rarieda and a similar number in Gem sub counties had also tested positive for the virus. “The Rarieda and Gem sub counties cases had no relation to the Bondo ones,” he added.
By Philip Onyango