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Coronavirus: Nakuru races to find new patient's contacts

Friday May 8 2020

Virus temperature checks at Baringo-Nakuru border

Medics check the temperatures of travellers entering Baringo County from Nakuru at the border in Mogotio on April 17, 2020. Health officials in Nakuru are looking for people who came into contact with a boy who contracted Covid-19. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ERIC MATARA
By ERIC MATARA
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Health officials in Nakuru County are searching for at least 20 people who got into contact with a 13-year-old Covid-19 patient.

The boy from Nyakinyua village in Solai, Subukia Sub-county, was one of the 25 new patients the Health ministry announced on Thursday evening.

Nakuru's Health executive Gichuki Kariuki said the patient was taken to Nakuru Level Five Hospital and that the officials had embarked on rapid contact tracing.

TUBERCULOSIS

The Nation learnt that the boy first sought treatment for tuberculosis at the facility in February.

He was released to go home but he was readmitted on April 13 and found to have the coronavirus after a 28-day stay at the hospital.

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Sources at the hospital told the Nation that the patient developed severe breathing problems, prompting doctors to test him for Covid-19.

Among those who could be quarantined are health workers who attended to him at the facility and the people he interacted with on the 40km journey to Nakuru town by matatu.

His mother and other immediate family members will also be tested.

"We have visited the family of eight and taken samples for testing, "revealed a senior medic, who in the team.

TRUCK DRIVERS

Meanwhile, Nakuru has announced the start of the testing of long-distance truck drivers at Maai Mahiu Health Centre.

"This is alongside screening of in Kikopey, Salgaa and Total  areas," Dr Kariuki said.

He reported that 15 people in the county were in quarantine facilities - six at the Naivasha Girls' centre and the rest at the Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI).

The report came days after Governor Lee Kinyanjui warned of serious consequences should the public continue disregarding the government's directives against further spread of the coronavirus.

Governor Kinyanjui spoke after the number of confirmed cases in the country passed the 500 mark.

"A close look at our urban centres reveals an emerging trend that borders on recklessness. The back-to-business attitude adopted by [some] is very worrying," he said.

"If we continue disregarding public health advice, this disease will last up-to two years in Kenya. From shops to restaurants and public transport, the resumption of normalcy appears to be taking root. Nothing could be more worrying than this."

SPANISH FLU

Mr Kinyanjui wants Kenyans to learn from the January 1918 Spanish flu, an unusually deadly pandemic that left at least 50 million people dead by the time it ended in December 1920.

Although estimates vary on the exact number of deaths caused by the disease, it is believed to have infected a third of the world's population and remains the deadliest pandemic in modern history.

Governor Kinyanjui further asked the national government to upscale domestic controls and border screening to prevent the importation of more Covid-19 cases.

"The entry of the virus into low income areas of Mombasa and Nairobi is a signal of the start of a difficult phase in its management," he said.

"Things are getting worse, judging by the numbers. I plead with Kenyans to listen to the Ministry of Health and adhere to the preventive measures often outlined."