CONTAIN VIRUS SPREAD

Kisumu shuts down operations at county offices over Covid spike

Only health, water service providers will be exempted from directive

In Summary
  • Non-essential service providers will seize operating from the Prosperity building that house the county headquarters from Tuesday.
  • In a memo from the county secretary Godfrey Kigochi, only health and sanitation, environment and water service providers will be exempted from the directive.
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o
Image: DICKENS WASONGA

Kisumu county government has shut down operations of its offices due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in the area.

Non-essential service providers will seize operating from the Prosperity building that houses the county headquarters from Tuesday.

In a memo from the county secretary Godfrey Kigochi to all county executive committee members, Chief officers and the City manager, only health and sanitation, environment and water service providers will be exempted from the directive.

Others include security and inspectorate, finance, roads and public works.

"Following a multi agency meeting held on April 1, it was decided that Prosperity House and City Hall be closed down, except for essential services. This is in view of Covid-19 third wave spike across the county," reads the memo copied to governor Anyang' Nyong'o and his deputy.

However, Kisumu county commissioner Josephine Ouko declared that national government offices at Prosperity House remain open.

In what appeared as a clash, Ouko said the county secretary was only speaking on behalf of the county government.

The building serves as the regional headquarters as well and houses the office of the regional commissioner.

Other national government departments that operate from the building include national security intelligence, immigration, national registration bureau and Civil registration, Huduma centre among others.

Even the Lake Victoria Basin Commission which is an EAC body is headquartered there, together with the World Bank funded Lake Victoria Environment Management Programme.

According to the county director of health Dr Fred Oluoch Kisumu reported 242 cases on Saturday.

Ten patients are in isolation wards and two in the ICU according to the director. 

The county had by March 26 confirmed 2,507 cases of coronavirus.

Covid-19 has left 67 people dead in Kisumu county so far.

"Kisumu County Covid-19 Rapid Response Team met and discussed strategies to combat the  rapid community transmissions and Covid-19 vaccine roll-out was amongst the measures," he said.

The director told the Star on Sunday that  34 sub-county vaccination posts have been  set up across the county and 6,639 individuals vaccinated as at  March 26,  2021.

"We have also adopted a change in national strategy to include those aged over 58 in the exercise. Pre-registration of teachers, policemen and those aged over 58 is  on-going," he said.

Dr Oluoch further noted that the county rapid response team had enhanced surveillance, community engagement containment measures.

"This happens through continued case finding and contact tracing for Covid-19 control," he said.

He however, noted that there was  need to enforce containment measures at all levels.   

On Friday night, police from the county arrested 138 revellers who were caught merry making in clubs past the curfew hours.

Nyanza region police commander Karanja Muiruri said the operation targeting churches, public service vehicles, clubs, markets and other public gatherings will continue across the region.

On Sunday the director of health told the Star that re-activation of Rapid Response Teams at the sub-county levels was ongoing.

"The teams in the seven sub-counties have been directed  to enforce adherence to home isolation regulations for patients in home-based care," he said.

Sub-county medical officers of health are expected  to report on Covid-19 regulations regarding funeral ceremonies  and ensure there is  no catering services,  night vigils and funerals are capped at 100 persons attendance.

"We further expect them to report on compliance to the one-third capacity attendance in places of worship during the service and adherence to other Covid-19 regulations," he said.

-Edited by Sarah Kanyara