Featured Health

County intensifies surveillance as number of Covid-19 patients rise

The County Department of Health has reported to have collected over 200 samples of the truck drivers, coming through the Namanga and Ilasit borders 

By Jonathan Teikan

Kajiado County has intensified surveillance within the county to ensure that restrictive measures instituted by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19 are adhered to.

This include reining on illegal immigrants and/or travellers from other parts of the country with high reported cases of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and also from the neighboring Tanzania, through the porous Namanga and Ilasit borders.

This follows a rise in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, which now stands at eight, with the latest two both having a history of travel from Tanzania. The country’s leadership has been on the receiving end of criticism over its casual response to the pandemic.

There has also been concern over Kenyans who exploit the porosity of the borders to irregularly move in and out of the country to attend worship sessions, or to party, a matter that is said that it could further endanger the lives of their immediate relatives, and the nation at large.

In the recent past, one of the confirmed cases was a 32-year-old Isinya resident but who is married to a 38-year-old Tanzanian national — both tested positive for the virus.

Another case was a 36-year-old veterinary doctor working with the East African Community, and who had stayed in Arusha, Tanzania for two weeks, before coming to Kenya, through a “panya” route.

Then again recently, the county surveillance team detected a 33-year-old man at Saina estate of Kajiado town, who is said to have travelled from Eastleigh in Nairobi, despite the imposed restriction of movement out and into the designated Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

However this publication is informed that travellers have since devised a way to evade mounted police roadblocks, including through use of motorbikes, to pass by the enforcement officers, and then get to public transport vehicles, to continue with their journey, once they go beyond the roadblocks.

Others have identified interior feeder roads they use to avoid police, and on rare cases when they are caught, they bribe the police and continue with their journey.

There has also been growing concern over potential spread of the virus, by trucks drivers crisscrossing the East African region. Especially in regard to the people they interact with in the various towns where they lodge while on transit.

The County Department of Health has reported to have collected over 200 samples of the truck drivers, coming through the Namanga and Ilasit borders, and had sent them to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) for testing, and are waiting for results.

Kajiado now has six active cases, with two recoveries. No death cases yet reported.

More than 30 contacts of confirmed cases have been traced and transferred to the county quarantine facilities, according a report by the County Health Minister Esther Somoire.

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