Panic has gripped Chavakali town and its environs in Sabatia Sub County after six more people turned positive for the novel Covid-19 virus.
Addressing members of press on Wednesday evening, Vihiga County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health Dr. Amos Kutwa confirmed sample swabs from Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) indicated five people were Covid-19 positive.
“These were results of swabs taken from members of public during contact tracing exercise following the Covid-19 positive case that was reported at Chavakali town a fortnight ago,” disclosed Kutwa.
According to the health CEC, five of the affected are contacts of the female patient who is currently in Isolation Ward at Vihiga County referral Hospital (VCRH) while the sixth is staff at the county hospital.
He added the affected individuals had been put under self-isolation for home-based care management.
“Meanwhile a team of health officers have launched investigations to establish where and how the health worker was exposed to the contagious virus,” Dr. Kutwa told journalists.
The official further revealed the department of health was scheduled to conduct target testing for the Coronavirus at the county hospital and Chavakali town today (Thursday).
“Teams of health and security professionals will be dispatched to Chavakali town and VCRH where they will particularly mount contact tracing and testing,” said Dr. Kutwa who appealed to the public to remain calm.
He has urged county residents to continue adhering to current Ministry of Health containment measures in order to prevent spread of the deadly virus in the region.
“We urge the public to continue observing social distancing, wash hands using soap, and running water, use hand sanitizers, wear face masks and more importantly avoid unnecessary travels,” reemphasized Kutwa.
The current development now puts total number of Covid-19 cases for Vihiga County at ten, according to County Disease Surveillance Director Dr. Bernard Makatiani.
A section of the locals interviewed expressed panic with most of them urging the Ministry of Health to intensify mass testing for various categories of individuals in the area.
“The government should urgently mount mass testing within Chavakali town and suburbs targeting public servants, including police officers and health workers, all restaurant and hotel workers, boda boda operators, public transport workers and all traders,” pleaded one of the locals.
By Maurice Aluda