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RISING NUMBERS

Garissa opens four free Covid testing centres

Officials concerned about patients escaping from isolation centres, contacts who refuse to cooperate

In Summary

• Four sites open for free testing. Health official urges residents to turn out in large numbers, expresses concern about patients escaping from isolation centres, noncooperation by traced contacts.

The county has recorded 304 positive cases. Garissa township recorded 238 cases followed by Dadaab with 51 cases and Fafi with 13. 

A health worker takes a sample for free Covid-19 testing at the Garissa Primary School testing centre.
COVID TESTING: A health worker takes a sample for free Covid-19 testing at the Garissa Primary School testing centre.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garissa county and the Kenya Red Cross have set up four Covid-19 testing centres where residents can be screened for free

The centres are at Garissa Primary School, Iftin Primary School, Garissa Referral Hopsital and the GK Prison.

Deputy director for medical services Ahmed Bashey said on Saturday the centres are fully operational and available to anyone for voluntary screening.

Speaking at Garissa Primary School, he urged residents to turn out in large numbers for testing at the sites, excluding the prison.

Bashey said the county is concerned about the increasing number of positive cases.

"In the last 72 hours, we confirmed five new cases, raising the number of positive cases in the county to 304. Ten people have died," he said.

The total number of samples tested since March is 3,876.

Bashey said 226 people are receiving home care; 75 people have been discharged from hospital after full recovery.

Garissa township has recorded 238 cases, Dadaab  51 and Fafi 13. Lagdera and Hulugho reported one case each. Ijara and Balambala subcounties have no reported cases.

Bashey said health workers are at risk as 45 of 497 health workers tested positive.

He expressed concern over the increased cases of patients escaping from isolation centres, putting their loved ones and communities at risk.

The deputy director also said some contacts traced by health officials refused to cooperate in what he called a major challenge.

Bashey assured the public of support, including counselling and psycho-social support by health workers at the community level and in health facilities.

(Edited by V. Graham)