Six Chinese nationals working for the Sinohydro Corporation contracted to build the Kibwezi-Kitui Highway, have been quarantined for 14 days within the company’s camp in Mutomo, Kitui South.
“Zhang Qiang, who was the first to jet back into the country, had travelled from Beijing via Dubai to JKIA where he recorded a body temperature of 36.6 Degrees Celsius and yesterday the county health surveillance team that visited the company site recorded his temperature at 35.9 Degrees Celsius,” said County Chief Officer in-charge of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Richard Muthoka.
Speaking in Kitui on Wednesday, Dr. Muthoka said that the county disease surveillance team have ruled that this is normal and there is no cause for alarm for suspected case of coronavirus in the county.
“We have examined the quarantined staff to detect any possible traces of the virus, they are not symptomatic according to their assessment though the isolated individuals will continue to be monitored until the end of the 14 days,” he said.
The Chief Officer further indicated that health ministry had dispatched a team of experts from Nairobi to complement his team in handling the situation so as to prevent mass panic or possible outbreak of the viral disease.
In a quick rejoinder, Sinohydro Corporation Chief Engineer, Zeng Yun dismissed as falsehoods earlier media reports that the worker had been isolated after developing symptoms of the coronavirus.
“That’s not true. He has only been isolated as per standard procedure as advised by the Chinese Embassy in Kenya. If all turns out well after the 14 days elapse he will be allowed to interact with the rest and resume his duties,” he told journalists at his office at the Mulutu site in Kitui Central on Tuesday.
On February 13, the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Wu Peng said that the Embassy would continue monitoring the entry of Chinese nationals into Kenya and had instructed them to strictly adhere to the prevention and control measures.
“The Embassy require all Chinese nationals coming back from China to isolate themselves at home for 14 days even when they have no symptoms,” said Eng. Yun.
The new coronavirus was only discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan China and Kenya had been identified as one of the 13 top priority countries in the region, which due to their direct links or high volume of travel to China need to be particularly vigilant for the novel coronavirus.
By Yobesh Onwong’a