Lab technician found to have contracted virus while off duty for a week
Twenty-eight health workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in Mombasa, authorities have said.
They include two laboratory technicians who tested positive last week as the fight against Covid-19 in the coastal region shifted focus to frontline workers.
The new cases forced Covid-19 testing at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital to be suspended for a week.
Mombasa health executive Hazel Koitaba, however, said the first lab technician did not contract the virus at the laboratory which was installed last month.
“The technician contracted the virus while off duty for a week, and was found to be infected when he underwent routine testing,” Hazel said.
The rest of the technicians had tested negative but were subjected to additional tests from which the second case emerged.
Most of the technicians have been put in quarantine as Mombasa's total confirmed cases reached 571 as of June 1.
On Monday, county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said 906 frontline health workers had already been tested.
By April 24, a doctor, a nurse and several clinicians had tested positive, according to Governor Hassan Joho.
On May 1, eight health workers who were part of the first group of 250 that were tested turned positive for coronavirus.
CGTRH installed equipment capable of delivering 384 tests in intervals of eight hours, with results being released within 24 hours.
The temporary closure of the lab meant samples from Mombasa were to taken to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) lab in Kilifi and the National Influenza Centre in Nairobi.
The county government has reassured residents that adequate measures have been put in place to protect the health workers.
Kitiyo said cumulative tests done were 12,385, with 11,134 results having been received and another 1, 257 pending.
The administrator who co-chairs the county's Covid-19 emergency response committee with Joho, said fatality rate was at 5.7 per cent, while that of samples testing positive stood at 5.1 per cent.
Old Town had a cumulative figure of 78 infection cases, Kenya Ports Authority had 34, after recording two more, while Likoni Ferry had 12 cases. Muoroto slums had two cases.
Truck drivers had 35 cases, after 2,542 of them were tested.
“On the mass targeted testing, KPA conducted 1,079 testes, Aga Khan Hospital (250), Old Town (271), Likoni Ferry (933), Majengo (165), and Tudor (139)” Kitiyo said.
The number of recovering patients also grew, with CGTRH having 88 recoveries, Mombasa Hospital (nine), Aga Khan (16), Jocham (five), and the Technical University of Mombasa (43).
Edited by P.O