Kitui County has stepped up efforts to bolster its capacity to handle coronavirus after 10 frontline healthcare personnel tested Covid-19 positive bringing the county’s tally to 152 since the first case was diagnosed in the country in March.
Speaking on Tuesday during a consultative meeting at Kitui Pastoral Centre, County Public Health Officer Faith Mutinda said the affected healthcare workers have been isolated and are receiving home-based care since they were all asymptomatic.
“So far the county has recorded 32 Covid-19 burials. The county is undertaking strict measures to stem the infection rates by raising our testing capacity,” said Mutinda.
“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 the Public Health Officer.
She said that the county plans to test all Kitui County Officers, who are working in departments that attract long queues leading to interaction with many residents. So far officials from the office of the Governor have been tested.
County Commissioner John Ondego said that all government offices will be fumigated noting that those receiving home-based care will 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 offer services to wananchi and asked for a rooster for people to work in shifts according to government directives to control the spread of the virus that has affected 34,315 people in the country with 577 fatalities.
“I am issuing an alert that the County Covid-19 Response Team will be carrying out surveillance to curb the spread of 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 County Commissioner.
By Yobesh Onwong’a