Coronavirus scare sees medics flee Makueni hospital

Saturday February 22 2020

A Chinese worker wearing a protective facemask. PHOTO | MANAN VATSYAYANA | AFP


Drama ensued at Makindu Sub-County Hospital in Makueni County after police officers brought in five critically ill Chinese patients.

They were suspected to be victims of the dreaded coronavirus. Health services were paralysed for hours after most of the health workers scampered for safety, leaving the five and dozen more patients unattended.

“The scare was aggravated by the fact that the Chinese, who accompanied the patients, had face masks,” a medic, who was among those who fled the facility told the Nation Saturday.

County health chief officer Patrick Musyoki however dismissed the claim as unfounded.

“There are no cases of coronavirus admitted to Makindu hospital as confirmed by the hospital management,” he said.

The Nation has independently established that the five patients were quarantined, as a doctor wearing protective clothing kept monitoring their conditions.


Their samples were collected and taken to the National Influenza Laboratory in Nairobi for testing, according to a senior official at the facility who is privy to the matter. He requested not to be identified since he is not allowed to speak on behalf of the institution.

The five are workers at Sinohydro Corporation, the Chinese contractor building Kibwezi-Kitui Road, according to reliable sources.

Three days ago, government officials declared safe a worker at the civil engineering company who had been at the centre of a coronavirus scare at the company’s camp site at Mutomo in Kitui County.