Hundreds of Kisumu County government workers have been asked to stay at home as Governor Anyang Nyong’o suspended non-essential services in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus after a Catholic priest who visited Ugunja in neighbouring Siaya County tested positive for the virus.
The move came as more than 60 people in Siaya turned up for voluntary screening, after the priest attended a funeral in Ugunja, while at least 59 people who came into close contact with him are in self-quarantine.
According to Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga, out of the 60 people tested by Tuesday, six suspected cases were identified and samples taken to KEMRI labs in Kisumu for further analysis.
In a notice on Tuesday, Governor Nyong’o said there was a possibility that many Kisumu residents could have interacted with mourners who attended the funeral in Ugunja and interacted with the priest, currently at Mbagathi Hospital.
“It has come to our attention and knowledge that two suspected Covid–19 cases from Siaya County have had interactions with a lot of people in Kisumu over the past few days. This situation has heightened the number of people being quarantined in our isolation facilities as the possible contacts are traced,” Prof Nyong’o said.
His directive will see hundreds of county government workers stay home indefinitely.
The governor indicated that the departments of health and sanitation, finance, water and environment, veterinary services, disaster and emergency services, field administration and enforcement would continue operating.
The said also the county’s overstretched health system that could not contain an outbreak. “Our health system is increasingly feeling overstretched by increased demand. It is, therefore, my appeal to our people to stay at home and avoid visits to public places,” he said.
He, however, said that residents could go out to buy provisions and visit health facilities.
Meanwhile, Governor Rasanga said results of the tests of the six individuals would be made the public as soon as they are obtained.
The governor urged more mourners who attended the burial on March 14 and those who might have come into close contact with them to come forward for testing.