Nakuru County will test over 60,000 food handlers for Covid-19 in the next one month as the hotel industry reopens following a three-month lockdown.
Already, over 4,000 workers in the hotel sector have been tested in Molo, Nakuru and Gilgil sub-counties as part of the exercise meant to give the hotels a chance to reopen.
This came as the public health officers from the county embarked on a similar exercise in Naivasha which is home to tens of hotels.
According to the Superintendent in charge of Naivasha sub-county hospital Dr Angeline Ithondeka, the exercise that had been sponsored by the county government was free of charge.
Speaking after launching the exercise, Ithondeka said that they would use data from the results to access the rate at which the disease affected area residents.
“This is targeted surveillance and it’s meant to inform us on the disease pattern so that we can plan the way forward,” she said.
Ithondeka added that the hospital’s isolation ward was currently full with seven patients while a similar number was under home-based-isolation.
“As the economy reopens the county government has embarked on targeted testing involving those persons who are at high-risk areas and we shall involve other sectors soon,” she said.
On his part, the sub-county public health officer George Ndichu said that the first phase of the exercise targeted workers in the hotel sector.
He said that the exercise was meant to give the community a chance to get tested as businesses started reopening.
“This exercise is free of charge and it’s meant to monitor the pattern of this disease, how deep it has spread and measures to contain the spread,” he said.
On the number of long-distance drivers who have tested positive, he said that plans were underway to expand the isolation ward so that it would take more patients.
Speaking on phone, the Chief Officer in charge of public health in the county Samuel Kingori said that they were targeting 60,000 food handlers.
He said that the county was home to hundreds of hotels adding that they were keen to make sure that the workers were tested before resuming their duties.
“The country has embarked on this exercise that is free of charge and we shall make sure that in the next one month all food handlers are tested of Covid-19,” he said.