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Covid-19: County officials move to enforce safety measures

Wednesday March 25 2020

Security officers demolish stalls at Kabarnet

Security officers demolish stalls at Kabarnet market on March 24, 2020. Baringo County Commissioner Henry Wafula ordered the market to close by 5:30pm. PHOTO | FLORAH KOECH| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NATION TEAM
By NATION TEAM
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Authorities continued to enforce strict measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, even as it emerged most Kenyans continue living dangerously.

In Kakamega, three county employees were sent home for 14 days after they returned from Italy a fortnight ago and failed to isolate themselves.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday termed unfortunate their decision not to self-isolate.

“The officers have been immediately placed off-duty and will not return to work for 14 days. I have directed them to self-quarantine and get tested immediately,” said Mr Oparanya.
Earlier on, police arrested a priest from Amalemba Catholic Church who held a prayer meeting in a church on Monday.

WARNED PRIEST

Kakamega police boss David Kabena said they had warned the priest three times but he failed to take heed.

And in Kakamega South sub-county, which is regarded as a gold mining hub, officers are fighting to control crowding at the mines.

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In Migori, four Chinese nationals and their Kenyan driver were forced to self-isolate at a hotel. The four arrived in the country on Sunday night.

“We have quarantined the five after reaching an amicable solution even as we monitor their situation. We have not taken samples for laboratory analysis as they did not exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms,” a Dr Oluoch said.

In Bomet, a man who had been suspected of contracting the viral disease was confirmed negative.

Medical tests conducted at the Kenya Medical Research Institute showed the man, who had travelled from the US and was admitted to Tenwek hospital, was free of Covid-19, Governor Hillary Barchok said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

In Machakos, Health executive Ancent Kituku said anyone experiencing symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and coughing, should call the emergency response control centre — 0110025345 and 0110025345.

RISING PRICES
In the North Rift region, residents complained about the rising prices of basic commodities following the closure of markets.

The price of a 90-kg bag of maize has increased from Sh2,800 to Sh3,200.

The cost of vegetables has also gone up, with a bag of cabbages going for Sh1,800, up from Sh1,300 and sukuma wiki going for Sh1,400, up from Sh800. The increase has been caused by a drop in supply from Kerio Valley.

And at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, visits have been banned, with officials saying the move was to avoid crowding at the facility.

Chief executive officer Wilson Aruasa said it was one of the measures the MTRH is taking to contain the spread of Covid-19.

At the same time, governors under the North Rift Economic Bloc want the government to certify MTRH as a national testing centre for Covid-19 to complement the National Influenza Centre and Kemri.
Led by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, who is the chairman of the bloc, the county bosses said there is a need to use as little time as possible in handling any suspected cases.

In Nakuru, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya banned hawking within the town.

He warned that those who will not comply with the guidelines risk facing the full force of the law.

In Samburu, the county government ordered the immediate closure of entry points. Areas affected include Suguta Mar-Mar, Archers Post and Nkurunit.

TRAVELLERS SCREENED

Deputy governor Julius Leseeto said all travellers will be screened before entering the county.

In Nairobi, the county government has waived all fees on uncollected bodies lying at its morgues, Health executive Hitan Majevda announced.

The waiver, which is in force until March 31, will, however, apply to the bodies that do not have pending cases in court or those that have not been listed as evidence in court cases.

In Bungoma, there was panic yesterday after a man suspected to be suffering from Covid-19 was taken to Mbagathi Hospital, Nairobi on Monday night, hours after he was admitted to a private hospital in the town. The 19-year-old, who studies in Switzerland, arrived in the country through Dubai last week.

He was said to have taken another flight from JKIA to Kisumu, where he took a matatu to his home in Mumias East, Kakamega County.
He was taken to Lifecare Hospital while coughing, sneezing and with a high fever.

In the Gusii region, politicians joined hands to sensitise residents on the importance of maintaining hygiene. The leaders were MPs Ben Momanyi (Borabu), Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South), Richard Tong’i (Nyaribari Chache), Ezekiel Machogu (Nyaribari Masaba) and Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi.

GREAT RISK

In Kisumu, business went on as usual, putting residents at great risk of contracting the virus.

The laxity has seen stakeholders accuse the county government of failing to put in place measures to slow down the transmission.

In Embu, anti-riot police raided Ishiara market and dispersed traders with tear gas.

Mbeere North Deputy County Commissioner Christopher Siele warned that traders who will be found at the market will not be spared.

Reporting by Waweru Wairimu, Gitonga Marete, Stephen Munyiri, George Munene, Shaban Makokha, Ian Byron, Vitalis Kimutai, Gaston Valusi, Barnabas Bii, Edith Chepng’eno, Onyango K’onyango, Steve Njuguna, Benson Amadala, Gaitano Pesa, Joseph Openda, Geoffrey Ondieki, George Odiwuor, Victor Raballa, Aggrey Omboki, Wycliffe Nyaberi, and Brian Ojamaa.