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Covid-19: Tanzanians put into forced quarantine in Vihiga

Wednesday April 1 2020

Police officers inspecting business premises

Police officers inspecting business premises in Nanyuki town on March 31, 2020 to ensure compliance with Covid-19 guidelines. In Vihiga, six Tanzanian nationals who arrived in the county on March 26 were Monday evening put under forced quarantine at the Keveye isolation centre. PHOTOS | JAMES MURIMI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DERICK LUVEGA
By DERICK LUVEGA
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SHABAN MAKOKHA
By SHABAN MAKOKHA
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Six Tanzanian nationals who arrived in Vihiga County on March 26 were Monday evening put under forced quarantine at the Keveye isolation centre.

This us after they defied a directive requiring them to go into self-isolation following the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Acting County Health Chief Officer Richard Boiyo said the six went on with their activities at Cheptulu market for five days, ignoring the order to self-isolate.

He noted that the six also travelled to Kisumu on Saturday and returned to Vihiga on the same day, raising eyebrows.

"I would like to inform our people that our brothers from Tanzania came in On March 26 and were asked to go into self-isolation.

"They instead defied and went about with their activities at Cheptulu market. We moved in on Monday evening and put them into forced quarantine at our isolation centre at Keveye Youth polytechnic," said Dr Boiyo.

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MEDICAL EXAM

The official said the six will undergo medical examination to determine their Covid-19 status.

They will remain in quarantine for 14 days at their own cost in a move Dr Boiyo said is intended to reduce chances of spreading the coronavirus.

"Let it go on record that the six are yet to be tested but this forced quarantine is just a stop-gap measure in the spirit of keeping social distancing and self-isolation. There is no cause for alarm," Dr Boiyo said.

CONTACTS QUARANTINED

And in Kakamega County, 20 people who are suspected to have interacted with suspected coronavirus cases have been put under quarantine to tame the spread of the disease.

Deputy Governor Philip Kutima said the 20 are from five sub-counties and are suspected to have interacted with the index case that has been put under isolation in Nairobi.

He was giving updates to journalists on the covid-19 situation in the county.

Prof Kutima said a surveillance team has intensified the search for several contacts and recommended a monitoring of the 20.

TESTED NEGATIVE

He said three senior county officials from the department of Water who had been put under house quarantine after they returned from Italy four weeks ago had all tested negative.

“We wish to bring to the knowledge of the general public that the three officers who had visited Italy plus five others who were from overseas countries and were put under house quarantine two weeks ago have tested negative for the coronavirus. We commend the officers for their cooperation,” said Prof Kutima.

PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

He revealed that Kakamega County has received a consignment of the personal protective equipment (PPE) against the coronavirus pandemic from the national government through the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) to help in the fight against the spread of the disease.

The consignment consisted of respirator masks, face shields and gloves that will be distributed to the county referral hospital and all level four hospitals in the region to upscale preparedness for the covid-19 pandemic.

The deputy governor said other partners including Unicef, Masinde Muliro University, Midland Emporium and Ampath have also given their support through training and provision of other materials, such as alcohol-based hand sanitisers and water tanks that have been distributed across the 12 sub-counties.