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CONTACT TRACING ONGOING

Songhor police station closed off over suspect with Covid-19

Nine other remandees suspected to have contracted after a week at the police cells.

In Summary

• The suspect had been remanded at the police cells for a week before he showed signs of the virus.

• Officers organised to have him tested for the coronavirus.

Nandi Health CEC Ruth Koech speaking in Kapsabet
Nandi Health CEC Ruth Koech speaking in Kapsabet
Image: Barry Salil

Panic gripped Songhor police station in Tinderet subcounty of Nandi after a suspect in custody was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus.

The police station has been converted into a quarantine facility and all contacts of the suspect and those they interacted with are being sought. 

The suspect had been remanded at the police cells for a week before he showed signs of the virus. Officers organised to have him tested for the coronavirus.

 

Nandi Health CEC Ruth Koech said all nine contacts who shared the cell with the suspect at the police station had been traced.

Koech spoke on Sunday at Kapsabet hospital. She said the suspect had been remanded after appearing in a Kapsabet court for plea-taking.

“We have decided to have all the nine people remain there (Songhor police station) in quarantine as we wait for the results of the tests carried out to establish their status,” Koech said.

Police officers on duty alerted Nandi county health workers when the suspect exhibited signs of the virus. 

The suspect's samples were taken to Kemri laboratories and returned positive results. The health department put the entire station and its officers on red alert.

“We are following all the Covid-19 protocols and put all the contacts including police officers on isolation as we prepare to carry out mass testing and put the area out of bounds,” the Health CEC added.

She said that the suspect could not be taken to the hospital isolation centre at Nandi-Hills because it could mean an officer is stationed there.

“It has been decided by the county multi-agency team to have all of them quarantined at the police station where they were being held. There will be no one else to be taken there,” Koech said.

 

The confirmation brings to four the number of people who have turned positive for Covid-19. Two are truck drivers and the other is a woman who arrived from Nairobi.

Nandi has 60-beds for isolation in Nandi-Hills and Kabiyet hospitals. The CEC said that the 11 bed ICU at the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital is ready. 

“The county targets to have the 300-bed isolation units ready in the next 21 days and we are moving with speed to beat the deadline,” Koech said.

 

(edited by o. owino)