Mill where first virus case found shut

Joymax Maize Milling Factory in Kutus where the patient was traced closed for four days.

In Summary

•A maize mill where the first Kirinyaga coronavirus patient was found has been closed and all employees and a revenue officer contact placed in quarantine.

• Patient a long-distance truck driver from Malaba, tested at border but proceeded without results.

The maize mill where Kirinyaga's first Covid-19 case was identified has been shut down for four days.

The man is a long-distance truck driver and was hospitalised. All workers and a county revenue officer he contacted have been quarantined.

The patient was traced to Joymax Maize Milling Factory in Kutus where he had delivered goods from Malaba. He was tested on Sunday but left before results were out.

The mill was fumigated.

The patient who was traced to the factory on Wednesday was evacuated to Kenyatta University Referral Hospital. All employees on duty at the factory on that day were placed in 14-day isolation at the Kerugoya Referral Hospital isolation centre.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who chairs the county's coronavirus team, said two close contacts of the patient were admitted to the Kerugoya Referral Hospital isolation centre for immediate testing and observation.

Waiguru said the driver had also contacted one of the county's revenue collection officers at Sagana. The officer was placed in quarantine and his contacts were being traced.


She said the 55-year-old truck driver was tested for Covid-19 on May 17 at the Malaba border but travelled before the results were released.

The governor said he was traced at the mill in Kutus where he was informed of his status. He had already interacted, however, with the gatekeeper and stores person. They, in turn, interacted with others at the factory.

Waiguru said upon being informed of the case by the National Influenza Centre, the county’s multi-agency team responded immediately.

The driver has been the only confirmed case.

The governor said the county is vigilant and has a well-equipped isolation ward at Kerugoya Referral Hospital. Other facilities can be used as quarantine centres.

She said all caregivers have been trained to handle Covid-19 cases.

The county boss urged all residents to stay calm, wear masks, wash their hands frequently, use sanitiser, avoid crowds and stay home whenever possible.

She urged traders to be very careful in interacting with customers and delivery people.

Those manning border points for Covid-19 screening should be extra vigilant, she said.

(Edited by V. Graham)

Kutus town in Kirinyaga county
Kutus town in Kirinyaga county
Image: Reuben Githinji