WARY OF NEIGHBOURS' NUMBERS

Narok to conduct mass virus testing in high-risk areas

Targets quarantine centres, health workers and security personnel.

In Summary

• Governor Samuel Tunai expressed concern over the latest surge in confirmed cases in the neighbouring counties. 

• County received 400 testing kits from the National Public Health Laboratory. 

A medic collects specimen for testing from a health worker at the Narok County Referral Hospital.
MASS TESTING: A medic collects specimen for testing from a health worker at the Narok County Referral Hospital.
Image: KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

The Narok government is testing people in quarantine centres, health workers and security personnel conducting screening for the coronavirus.

The county has intensified efforts to contain the virus. It received 400 testing kits from the National Public Health Laboratory. The kits have been distributed to the Covid-19 response teams in the six subcounties whose medical officers have been trained in testing.

Governor Samuel Tunai expressed concern over the latest surge in confirmed cases in the neighbouring counties. He spoke during a weekly media briefing at the county headquarters. 

 

Four of the six counties that neighbour Narok have confirmed cases. Bomet has one patient. 

“Of special note for our county is that there has been a major upsurge of infection in our sister county of Kajiado, particularly at the border town of Namanga. Over the last one week, confirmed cases in Kajiado have shot to 23," Tunai said.

"We have also noted that there has been an equally dangerous spike in confirmed cases in our neighbouring county of Migori, with the border town of Isebania emerging as a new hotspot. Migori now has a confirmed caseload of 10.”

The governor also announced that they will start mass testing along its border with Tanzania. They will prioritise those who had been frequenting Tanzania.

Other priority areas are Olpusimoru and Olderkesi in Narok West, Mausa, Olemesutie and Ilkerin in Loita, in Narok South and Angata and Mashangwa in Transmara West.

"Narok county borders Tanzania and is at extreme risk of importing infections. Over last one week, the County Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Management Coordination Committee confirmed that the areas bordering Tanzania are now at great risk of becoming the next national hotspots," he said.

The county boss said movement of people and trade, particularly in livestock and foodstuff, is still on in those areas, with communities on both sides of the border interacting regularly.

 

“Information from the communities on the ground is that there have been confirmed infections and deaths within a radius of 50km from our borders with Tanzania,” Tunai said.

He added that his administration has accordingly taken steps to boost surveillance as they continue to assess and upgrade their level of preparedness in the event of infection in areas identified as high-risk.

“We're working with the national government in rolling out special measures in the border areas, including priority testing, increased surveillance and restriction of movement across the border."

Tunai said the county has heightened preparedness through subcounty response committees, and ward and village (elders and Nyumba Kumi) teams to increase surveillance at the grassroots level.

"My administration is embarking on an extensive public awareness campaign to sensitise our people on the increased danger of infection at the border areas,” he noted.

Narok county commissioner Samuel Kimiti emphasised the need for coexistence across the Tanzania border but urged residents to be on high alert to contain the virus. He called for compliance with government guidelines at all times. Kimiti said those flouting the rules will be arrested.

 

(Edited by F'Orieny)