The Garissa county government on Saturday unveiled a partnership program with Unicef aimed at scaling up its preparedness and response capacity in the fight against Covid-19.
The collaboration comes amid soaring confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country with Garissa County recording 31 such cases.
The surge could further complicate matters for Kenyans who hoped President Uhuru Kenyatta could suspend cessation of movement in Nairobi and Mombasa counties in his forthcoming State address.
Speaking during the launch of the programme, the County’s Director of Health (CDH), Abdullahi Daud said that the partnership would focus on sensitization of the community through a vehicle mounted public address system.
The program will also see the distribution of hand wash equipment in all health facilities and other high concentration areas like the markets in Garissa Sub County.
He revealed that eleven out of the 31 cases which had so far been detected in the county had been found in Garissa town in particular, at the Tana River Bridge screening facility from those who had escaped lock-down protocols in other areas.
Some 20 other cases were detected at the refugee camps among new arrivals from Somalia.
“We are concerned that those escaping from the counties where the government has imposed cessation of movement are the ones bringing in the virus,” Daud said.
“I want to urge our security agencies manning various roadblocks on the Nairobi – Garissa and Garissa – Mombasa highways to be more vigilant and ensure suspicious people trying to escape cessation of movement are barred from entering the county,” he added.
Daud called on the public to be vigilant and report to relevant authorities any suspicious case for immediate action.
He also urged the citizens to observe social distancing, wear face masks in public and embrace sanitizing.
This, he noted, was necessary if the country is to flatten the curve and ease restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Daud assured the public that the department had matters under control having traced and put on quarantine contacts of those who had tested positive. “We have placed screening health personnel to test new arrivals at various border entry points along the porous Somalia border to curb the virus from spreading into our country,” he said.
By Jacob Songok