120 people in self or forced quarantine in North Rift

Tough measures in place, from quarantine to banning hospital, visits to home confinement

In Summary

• Five people including two couples and a child have been placed under fired quarantine.

•Several athletes are among those who returned  from abroad and went into quarantine 

Governors Stephen Sang of Nandi and Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu at a meeting on the coronavirus in n Eldoret on March 21.
GETTING TOUGH: Governors Stephen Sang of Nandi and Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu at a meeting on the coronavirus in n Eldoret on March 21.

More than 120 people are on self or forced quarantine in North Rift after they returned from overseas in the past two weeks.

Five people, including two couples and a child, are under forced quarantine in Uasin Gishu county to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and  Health executive Everlyne Rotich said the five who had arrived from overseas did not heed the requirement for self-quarantine and are now being held at the Kamalel isolation uni for tests and a 14-day waiting period.

“We have full information on everyone who came in, and they must self-quarantine, or we will force them to do so at their own cost," Mandago said.
He said even the Bible provides for times to stay indoors and pray until difficult times are over.

“At least if you can’t hear what President Kenyatta is saying, if you can’t hear Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and you can’t hear Governor Mandago, then take the word of God," Mandago said.

Fifteen MCAs in Uasin Gishu who had travelled to Dubai returned to the country and most went into self-quarantine, although there are claims that some of them defied the requirement.

Trans Nzoia and Elgeyo Marakwet counties each have more than 25 people who are in quarantine and awaiting results of the  Cocid-19 tests.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang said more than 30 people had been put in self-quarantine after arriving from Europe and that none had shown signs of the virus.

Most of them are international athletes, employees working in the Gulf states and a Catholic nun from the Vatican. The nun got into the country via Isebania on the Tanzanian border to attend her father’s funeral. 

"We urge all our brothers and sisters who arrived into the country from those counties hit hard by the Covid-19 to isolate themselves for 14 days,” Sang said.

County commissioners are keeping records of all those who travelled and returned, as directed by the government.

“We are closely monitoring them to ensure that they fully adhere to the quarantine measures to avoid the spread of the virus in case they are infected,” Uasin Gishu county vommissioner Abdirisack Jaldesa said.

Nandi county commissioner Kutswa Olaka said they were enforcing all measures.

He said security teams would ensure all open-air markets, bars and pool joints are closed.

Olaka said a multi-agency team has identified areas for the potential spread of the virus to be shut down.

“We are not going to take any chances because the situation will escalate if we become complacent,” he said.

Health executive Ruth Koech said all systems had been put in place, including a ban on hospital visits by members of the public.

The county has also banned hospital visits in the region. Baringo county also has more than 15 people on self-quarantine.

Muslim Preachers and Imams in Rift Valley have welcomed tax relief and other measures announced by President Kenyatta but said they will not immediately benefit most poor Kenyans.

The preachers led by Abubakar Bini said many Kenyans could not afford daily food or pay for housing, yet they had to stay at home to avoid the coronavirus.

Bini said the government should come up with further measures that will quickly support the poor.

(Edited by V. Graham)