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Panic as Kitui records 41 new Covid-19 cases

Fear has gripped Kitui County after 41 people tested Covid-19 positive on Saturday bringing the county’s tally to 60 since the first case was diagnosed in the country in March.

The Kitui County Chief Officer Health and Sanitation, Dr. Richard Muthoka disclosed that the affected were both national and county government staff.

“The recorded number was as a result of the measures taken to test health workers, Kitui County Government officers and staff from Kitui Main Prison, Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) Kitui and Judiciary staff at the Mwingi and Kitui Law Courts,” disclosed Dr. Muthoka.

The medic noted that his County Covid-19 Response Team was still analyzing the results to identify where said cases hailed from for appropriate action since the testing process took place in various Government departments.

Dr. Muthoka announced plans to test all Kitui County Officers who are working in departments that have huge queues see them interact with many residents. So far, officials from the office of the Governor have been tested.

Speaking to the press in Kitui on Sunday, the County Commissioner (CC), John Ondego said that all government offices would be fumigated afresh next week adding that scores of officers from his office tested positive after the targeted testing on Friday.

“The novel coronavirus is here with us in the community. Majority of those who tested positive were asymptomatic. They  will self-isolate for 14 days at their homes before re-testing,” said Ondego.

The  CC noted that those receiving home-based care would have their homes assessed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they fit the protocol for treatment at home.

“These numbers show clearly that if mass testing was to be carried out, majority of the people will be positive especially those flouting the Ministry of Health protocols of social distancing, wearing a mask and proper hand-washing,” disclosed the administrator.

He called on government officials to minimize close contact with people as they offered services to wananchi and asked for a rooster for people to work in shifts according to government directives.

“I am issuing an alert that starting next week, the County Covid-19 Response Team will be carrying out surveillance in the county to curb the spread the virus. People should make sure that social distancing protocol is adhered to at all times,” he said.

Ondego  warned those working in crowded places such as markets and matatus termini to adhere to
the health protocols to avoid closure of their businesses which may impact negatively on their livelihoods.

“I implore our people to be careful. This disease is not a hoax, it is real and here with us. We should take all the necessary precautions to avoid its spread and protect the vulnerable members of society,” said  the CC.

Meanwhile, panic engulfed the Homa Bay GK Prison  on Saturday after 16 out of 32 remandees whose samples were taken Thursday tested positive for corona virus.

The  Homa Bay County Executive Member for Health, Prof. Ouma Muga said the 16 cases brought to 31 the number of positive cases in the county. The 16 remandees have been put under quarantine at an isolation centre within the prison to prevent further spread of the virus in the facility.

He allayed fears of mass infections in the prison, saying the 16 remandees had not interacted with other prisoners since they were newly incarcerated while some had been transferred from other prisons and were immediately put under quarantine.

Prof. Muga said that they would conduct mass testing at the prison for other remandees and the prison staff, adding that county health surveillance offices would also fumigate the prison to contain the spread of the virus.


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