Thirty-seven people in Mukaa Sub-County, Makueni County have been quarantined after interacting with a Catholic nun who arrived in Kenya from Spain on March 18 and defied the mandatory 14- day self-quarantine.
Makueni Health Executive (CEC), Dr. Andrew Mulwa, said the 37, were traced after coming in contact with the nun and will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days in their homes.
‘‘They will stay in their homes for the 14 days and if any of them exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, necessary action will be taken,’’ said Dr. Mulwa.
The nun was forced to self-isolation after local residents complained to the authorities. She is said to have been picked from the airport by her parents and two sisters.
The Health Executive also disclosed that seven other people in Makueni who had recently jetted-in from trips abroad and refused to self-quarantine have been forcibly isolated.
He said the cases had been reported in Malili, Sultan Hamud, Kathonzweni, Nziu, Mbumbuni, Kikumbulyu and Wote.
They had travelled from several countries including Uganda, Spain, and South Africa.
“In collaboration with Machakos County, we are currently doing a contact tracing for the case in Nziu because she used a matatu,’’ said Dr. Mulwa.
Also being quarantined is a Boda boda operator in Mbumbuni who carried a Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) employee with flu-like symptoms.
Briefing the press Wednesday in Wote, the Health Executive urged residents to remain vigilant, saying Kenya was in a position to contain the spread of the disease without going into a complete lockdown.
“Japan has contained the spread of COVID-19 without a lockdown because the people heeded to the precautionary measures given, we can also do the same if we adhere to the guidelines,” he added.
The Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohamed, disclosed that Thwake multipurpose Dam construction site may be put under a lockdown if the contractor does not adhere to the safety measures.
Maalim said a multi-agency team has been sent to the site to assess the situation that will inform the next cause of action.
‘‘If they are not following the precautionary measures we will be forced to shut down the construction site,’’ said the CC.
He also warned public transport operators against hiking fares and carrying excess passengers.
Fares have doubled forcing passengers to dig deeper into their pockets. Matatus plying Nairobi-Wote route are now charging Sh 1000 up from Sh 400 while fare to Makindu from Wote is up from Sh 250 to Sh 400.
Maalim said two vehicles have been impounded for flouting the stringent measures on carrying capacity.
‘‘One belongs to Semaka Sacco and another Sema Sacco, we will have their licenses revoked,” said the county commissioner.
He added that 11,980 Nyumba kumi officials and more than 3,800 village elders across the County will be used to monitor cases of self-quarantine and to create awareness on the disease.
‘‘They will work under the supervision of Chiefs and their Assistants,” said Maalim.