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Special duty allowance for health workers Mandera to curb covid-19

The  Mandera county government has introduced a special duty allowance for Doctors and Nurses dealing with screening of Covid-19 virus.

Area  governor, Ali  Roba  speaking to the press in Mandera town on Monday said his administration will pay a motivational allowance to the concerned health workers.

At the same time, Roba has ordered residents to pray at home and avoid public places, even as the county administration stepped up surveillance at all entry points with Somalia and Ethiopia to curb cross border infections.

Residents have also been advised to minimize travelling to Nairobi and other regions in the country.

Additionally, the county government will embark on fumigation of public places and government offices to keep the region free from the virus.

On his part, the County Commissioner (CC), Onesmus Kyatha promised to effect ban on the sale of Miraa.

However, the county has not confirmed any case of coronavirus, with some 16 people having contracted the disease countrywide.

Meanwhile, more than 300,000 people have been affected globally with over 13,000 dying of the virus, which first broke out in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

Elsewhere, Sixteen people in Taita-Taveta County have been placed under a quarantine after they are suspected to have come into contact with a French tourist who tested positive for Covid-19.

On  Sunday, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe confirmed that Kenya had confirmed eight more cases of patients including tourists who are infected by Corona Virus.

One of the confirmed cases, a French tourist, had arrived in Taita-Taveta County on 9th March for a tour. The tourist spent two nights in different lodges whose names have not been disclosed and later proceeded to Kwale County.

In response, the Taita-Taveta Disease Surveillance Team launched a rapid hunt for dozens of individuals said to have come in contact with the tourist.

The  team managed to trace the primary sixteen people who were in contact with the tourist. All have been placed under self-quarantine in different areas.

Medics are closely monitoring them for any signs of infection. There are reports that samples have also been sent to Nairobi for tests.

In  a press release, Governor Granton Samboja said the tourist spent the nights of 12th and 13th in two lodges, urging  the residents to support public health initiatives aimed at taming the virus.

The news come barely a week after another case in Taveta sub-county where a man was placed in isolation after exhibiting symptoms similar to those of Corona virus. The test came back negative.

So far, there has not been a single confirmed case in the county.

The County Executive Committee Member for Health Services, John Mwangeka said his department has received several such reports and had responded appropriately. He added that coughing and sneezing did not imply one was infected with Corona.

“We have had several such calls with members of public telling us about people coughing and sneezing. All have turned out negative,” he said.

The county disease surveillance team has intensified monitoring of hotels and other large establishments including tourists’ lodges and camps inside the national park.

Other  measures being taken by the county include installation of hand-wash centres in major towns, including Voi, Mwatate, Wundanyi and Taveta. There has also been an intensified crackdown on illicit liquor brewing in all informal settlements to discourage gatherings and interactions that increases risks of exposure to the virus.

By  Dickson  Githaiga/Wagema  Mwangi

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