Three people in Turkana County whose samples had been taken for testing after they were suspected of having been infected by Corona virus have tested negative.
Speaking during Covid 19 emergency response meeting in Lodwar today, the County director of medical services Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel said the samples had been taken to Kisumu for testing after they were collected last week.
“Two samples were taken in Kibish and one at Lokichar for testing and they turned negative. However, we will have to wait for another 15 more days to clear them. They remain in quarantine,” said Dr. Lokoel.
The tests were conducted within 24-38 hours due to the long distance between the county and testing point.
The news of the suspected three cases had caused panic among the county residents over the weekend.
At the same time, Lokoel said 144,017 people had been screened for Covid 19 in the area to curb the spread of the disease in the area.
A total of 19 people are quarantined in the county.
Some 11 people, among them nine refugees are quarantined in Turkana west Sub County, four in Turkana central, two in Turkana South and two in Kibish sub counties.
The County commissioner Muthama Wambua warned members of the public against stigmasing those who had been placed under quarantine.
“Those people who are placed under quarantine have families and it is wrong to spread falsehoods concerning their status,” said Wambua.
Wambua said the government was preparing a list of vulnerable people who would benefit from relief food in event of a lockdown.
The county Covid -19 emergency response Committee resolved that all salons and barber shops would remain closed to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.
Health executive committee member Jane Ajele said the decision was arrived at after it became evident that these business premises were not observing social distancing guidelines and safety measures put in place by the government.
The county has received 140 cartons of sanitisers and 25,000 face masks.
However, Chief Officer for health Roberts Abok said the facemasks were still inadequate for the 1,300 county healthcare workers.
“In an ideal situation, every health-care worker needs four masks per day,” said Abok.
Abok urged partners to focus on provision of masks even as they made other interventions.
“The county has currently put up 18 beds at Kanamkemer sub county hospital which is an isolation centre,” Dr. Lokoel said.
Meanwhile county police commander Samuel Ndanyi emphasised the need for members of the public to take personal responsibility in combating the Corona virus.
“It is unfortunate that some people have come up with mischievous ways of evading the government guidelines by consuming alcohol in their home compounds as groups. Personal responsibility is key to preventing the spread of Corona virus,” said Ndanyi.
By Peter Gitonga