NO LONGER SAFE

Panic and fear grip Lodwar over suspected Covid-19 case

Health workers fled when a Chinese checked in at the coronavirus isolation facility

In Summary
  • Authorities asked to come clean on the status of the Chinese who was said to have symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Chief Officer of Health appeals to residents to remain calm and stop spreading rumours based on misinformation.
County Chief Officer of Health and Sanitation Robert Abok. He urged residents to ignore coronavirus rumours on social media.
ALLAYING FEARS: County Chief Officer of Health and Sanitation Robert Abok. He urged residents to ignore coronavirus rumours on social media.
Image: Hesborn Etyang

 

Fear and panic gripped residents of Lodwar, Turkana, on Thursday after an employee of a construction company presented himself at the coronavirus isolation ward of the county referral hospital.

Health workers and patients fled when the worker – a Chinese – arrived at the facility for a check-up.

The Chinese construction company is building the Kitale-Juba (South Sudan) highway.

Fruit vendor Joyce Ekuwom said: "News of coronavirus is spreading very fast in Lodwar and causing fear and panic. We don't feel safe. Authorities should come clean on the status of the Chinese who was said to have symptoms of coronavirus." 

County chief officer of Health Robert Abok sought to allay fears, saying the Chinese arrived in Turkana a month ago and was quarantined for 14 days.

"We urge residents to remain calm and stop spreading rumours based on misinformation.  After investigation and clinical processes, the person does not meet the definition of Covid-19. He doesn't have fever or breathing problem," Abok said.

He urged the community to take precautionary measures like washing hands thoroughly and keeping away from crowds.

He cautioned against following rumours on social media and instead wait for all information on Covid-19 from the County Emergency Response Team.

Seven Chinese were on Tuesday quarantined for 14 days in Turkana. They tested negative for the coronavirus.

Governor Josphat Nanok confirmed that the Chinese had been declared safe.

 

– mwaniki fm