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Counties act to curb Covid-19 ‘imports’

Monday July 13 2020
PIX

Staff at the Vihiga County Teaching and Referral hospital arranging medical supplies donated by the Church of Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ for fighting the coronavirus on May 8. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION TEAM

A number of counties have come up with a raft of measures to prevent people from towns from spreading the coronavirus in villages,

In Vihiga, all returnees must either self-isolate or be quarantined for 14 days, depending on their body temperature, County Commissioner Ochillo Oyugi said.

And Western Regional Commissioner Anne Ng’etich said:“Campaigns are ongoing to sensitise communities to observe the Ministry of Health guidelines on containing of the pandemic.”

Authorities in the South Rift say it is becoming increasingly difficult to trace people arriving from Nairobi and the Coast.

“Ideally, one is supposed to volunteer information to public health officers that he has travelled from a region that was under lockdown, then go into self-quarantine,”  said Dr Joseph Sitonik, the Bomet County  Public Health and Medical Services executive. “But many of the people are not coming out for fear of being placed in quarantine, which makes it difficult to track the increasing number of new arrivals”.

RECKLESS

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In Kericho County, public health officers are screening commuters entering from neighbouring counties. Governor Paul Chepkwony and his Bomet counterpart Dr Hillary Barchok separately said those who test positive should not be allowed to travel because it is risky and reckless.

In Meru, the Health department plans to introduce Covid-19 testing of travellers coming from high risk areas, Director of Medical Services Koome Muthuri said.

He added that the reopening of Nairobi and Mombasa posed a threat to Meru County, noting that many people to not have the symptoms. He said the county had lost four people to the pandemic, saying that it is striking closer home.

Meanwhile, Meru Health Executive Misheck Mutuma urged residents to take greater personal responsibility to prevent an upsurge in Covid-19.

He said the county would strictly enforce the rule requiring traders at markets wear face masks.

In Nakuru, measures have been put in place to monitor the health status of the hundreds of people passing through the region with the influx of travellers after President Uhuru Kenyatta eased the restrictions on movement.

SYPMTOMS

The county’s health department says it does not have the capacity to check the thousands of travellers temperatures’ or any other symptoms related to Covid-19.

County Public Health Chief Officer Samuel King’ori said Nakuru is a link to many counties and travellers who pass through the region are mainly destined for other places.

“We cannot test everybody who passes through Nakuru County, considering most of the travellers are heading to other destinations. But we have measures in place to monitor those coming to Nakuru,” he said.

He noted that the county has placed community health workers in every sub-county to monitor those who travel to their areas and place them in quarantine them if necessary.

By Justus Ochieng’, Derrick Luvega, Phyllis Musasia, David Muchui, James Murimi and Vitalis Kimutai.

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