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Wajir tightens surveillance after 2nd coronavirus case

Friday May 1 2020

Kawangware mass testing

Health officers take samples from Kawangware residents in Nairobi during Covid-19 mass testing on May 1, 2020. Wajir County recorded its second case of the coronavirus on May 1, 2020. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Wajir County on Friday recorded its second Covid-19 case, of another person with a history of travel to Mogadishu, Somalia.

Health executive Ismail Sheikh Issack told a press briefing that the case was confirmed after a test at the regional laboratory, bringing the total number of tests conducted in the county to 25.

“The commissioning of tests in our regional laboratory kicked off on April, 23. The second case is of a 32-year-old Kenyan male from Garissa County. He is asymptomatic and stable,” said Mr Issack.

The two patients were among four people earlier intercepted by security agencies in Diff, a small town at the Kenya-Somalia border.


The official asked residents to report traders sneaking into the county through the porous border with Somalia, noting their risk of transmitting the coronavirus.


"It is important to note that the confirmed cases were all imported by livestock traders who recently travelled to Mogadishu," said Mr Issack.

He added, “We intercepted four individuals on a similar return trip from Mogadishu for livestock trade at Riba in Wajir East Sub-county. They are currently at the KMTC quarantine centre undergoing routine checks."

Mr Issack said that as part of monitoring, health officials under the supervision of the health director had been sent to set up base at Diif and conduct fumigation, screening and contact tracing in Dadajabula, Dagahley and surrounding areas.

He said they would enforce county directions against the virus and mount robust education campaigns.

"I urge you to observe the national and county guidelines that include social distancing, washing hands with water and soap or using sanitisers, wearing face masks in public places, and above all, staying at home," he told the people.


On Thursday, the county emergency response committee came up with a raft of measures to control the spread of the virus.

They included cessation of movement into and out of Diff town, closure of Diff and Dagahaley livestock markets and suspension of outpatient services at Wajir County Referral Hospital, which is the main isolation centre.

Wajir's new case was among 15 more in Kenya that Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced on Friday.

The minister also announced that the number of recoveries had risen to 150 with the discharge of six more patients.

He further said that the number of fatalities had risen to 21 as four more patients had died.