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Covid-19: trucker isolated in Taita Taveta after developing symptoms

Sunday April 19 2020

Trucks at Malaba awaiting clearance.

Trucks at Malaba at Kenya-Uganda border awaiting clearance. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION MEDIA GROUP

LUCY MKANYIKA
By LUCY MKANYIKA
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A truck driver has been isolated at Mwatate, Taita Taveta County after he developed coronavirus-like symptoms while on transit from Malaba to Mombasa.

The long-distance driver was taken to Mwatate Hospital by health officials after he exhibited symptoms of the virus at Miasenyi area along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

The county disease surveillance team is already tracking the movements of the driver who revealed that he developed health complications in Nairobi on Thursday while on his way to Mombasa.

County executive for Health Services, John Mwangeka, said he is being watched at an observation ward in the hospital after his samples were taken to Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) in Kilifi County for testing.

He said the patient will remain in isolation until results are out.

"The tests will be out by today (Sunday) evening," he said.

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He revealed that the patient, who is in stable condition, complained of difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pains and had a high fever.

"He called health officers who rushed there with an ambulance and took him to the facility for observation," Mr Mwangeka said.

The CEC said the driver revealed that when he started feeling unwell, he spent a night in Nairobi before embarking on his journey on Friday morning.

He said the Health department is on high alert to ensure that the workers are extremely cautious with how they handle the patient.

"For now we are taking him with a lot of caution because he was highly exposed to the virus. We understand that he has travelled a lot and that is why we are not taking anything lightly," he said.

At the same time, the county government has started distribution of water to areas that are experiencing shortages.

Yesterday, the department of Water with other Non Governmental organisations (NGOs) distributed water to Kishushe area, Wundanyi Sub-county where hundreds of villagers will benefit from the programme.

The department has partnered with Sauti ya Wanawake, Action Aid and Taita Taveta Human Rights Watch to supply water to remote areas in the county to fight the pandemic.

Acting County Executive for Water Davis Mwangoma said the department has set aside Sh20 million for the programme aimed at fighting coronavirus.

The CEC said they targeted Marungu, Mwaktau, Kishushe, Paranga and Mlilo, among other far flung areas.

"Water is delivered with our bowsers and filled in holding tanks where citizens draw until they finish. We then refill immediately," he said.

Residents from the areas have been buying the commodity at Sh30 per 20-litre jerrican, making it difficult for households to maintain high standards of hygiene.

At the same time, activists from the three organisations have been sensitising residents by donating masks, soap, sanitisers and sanitary towels to the vulnerable villagers.

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