At least 14 people who came into contact with the first Covid-19 case in Nyamira County, which was confirmed on Sunday have been traced and quarantined.
The Nyamira case is that of a 46-year-old man from Kebirigo who sneaked into the county from Nairobi.
Multi-agency teams from the county received an alert from community policing members, picked and quarantined the man at Sironga Girls High School.
“Unfortunately his sample specimen sent to KemrI-CDC Kisumu on June 12, 2020 returned a positive result for the coronavirus over the weekend,” said Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama.
Upon receiving the results on Saturday evening, the county’s emergency response team transferred the patient to the Nyamira County Referral Hospital’s isolation centre where he is currently admitted.
The case was among 137 new Covid-19 cases announced on Sunday, raising Kenya’s infections tally to over 3,500.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, while on a tour of Othaya in Nyeri County, said the new cases were confirmed from 3,167 samples.
“Contact tracing is ongoing both within and outside the county to ensure all possible contacts have been identified and safely quarantined. The 14 contacts are quarantined at the Nyamira Kenya Medical Training College Campus,” said Mr Nyagarama.
Nyamira now becomes the 39th county to report a confirmed Covid-19 case, 89 days after the first case was detected in Kenya.
A week ago, Governor Nyagarama officially opened a Sh9.5 million worth Covid-19 isolation centre.
The 17-bed centre with a five-bed intensive care unit is the second isolation facility in Nyamira County and is located at the county’s referral hospital.
The first isolation centre is at Bombangi Dispensary and has five beds.
“I want to thank God for having kept this scourge away from our soil for so long. This has indeed accorded us valuable time to prepare and learn from our neighbours who had been affected much earlier than us,” said Mr Nyagarama.
“As we had always said, it was not a matter of if, but a question of when this virus was to emerge in our county,” he added.
The county chief thanked all residents of Nyamira County for having obeyed and followed the public health regulations that have enabled them to keep off the virus for three months despite its presence in neighbouring counties.
He said travels from affected counties that have been put under cessation of movement have always been a threat to residents.
Mr Nyagarama urged all Nyamira residents who are in counties with a heavy load of Covid-19 cases not to travel home.
“Please do not bring this highly infectious disease to your grandparents, parents, spouses, children and loved ones in Nyamira,” he said.
He further directed heightened surveillance and immediate quarantining of any person who has travelled from a county under cessation of movement order without following due procedure.
And in Kisumu, a staff of a telecommunications service provider also tested positive for the virus.
The Kisumu case is currently admitted to the Jaramogi Odinga Oginga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) isolation ward.
JOOTRH Chief Executive Officer Peter Okoth confirmed that the patient was admitted to the facility on Sunday.
"The patient is admitted [to the] Covid-19 Isolation ward. She was brought in on Sunday and we are monitoring her," said Dr Okoth.
However, an official at the company said they were yet to confirm if the patient is their employee.
"She could be someone working with the company which services us," he said.
He went on, "We cannot comment on the hospital admission. Such medical results are treated as private information."
So far Kisumu County has nine Covid-19 patients admitted to JOOTRH.
Among them are two truck drivers from South Sudan who travelled through Uganda.