The Makueni County Government will conduct targeted mass testing of COVID-19 in seven towns along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway after nine new coronavirus cases were reported on Sunday in Kibwezi and Makindu towns along the highway.
County Executive Committee Member(ECM) for Health Andrew Mulwa said the targeted testing will be done in Malili, Salama, Sultan Hamud, Emali, Makindu, Kambu and Mtito Andei towns in the next one week to determine the spread of the disease.
Dr Mulwa said the nine cases recorded on Sunday during a routine testing of hotel staff in Kibwezi East Sub County was a clear indication that the disease had reached community transmission.
“Nine samples tested positive out of 26. The disease is here with us and the targeted mass testing will be done to establish the extent of transmission,” he said during a press briefing on COVID-19 at the County Commissioner’s office on Tuesday.
Speaking at the same briefing the County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed called for collaboration from stakeholders to stem the disease following the increased cases in the county.
“The nine cases reported out of 26 samples depicts a grim picture of the extent of transmission and we need a multi agency approach to stop the spread,”said Maalim.
The county commissioner disclosed that the county had set aside 300 beds for COVID-19 patients across the county but added that plans were under way to increase the bed capacity.
“There are plans to increase the bed capacity from the current 300 because it is not enough,” he said.
Maalim noted the county had adopted a raft of measures including training of 50,000 community health volunteers and local leaders to help sensitise residents on the fight against pandemic.
“We have also enhanced cross border surveillance by setting up roadblocks at Mtito Andei and Kibwezi towns where close to 100,000 travellers had had their temperatures checked,”said the county commissioner.
Maalim warned residents against flouting the directives set by the government in the fight against the pandemic saying those caught will be held accountable.
He said a Matatu ferrying 26 passengers from Mombasa was intercepted by police near Mukuyuni market along the Wote-Machakos road and the passengers put under mandatory quarantine.
“The passengers have been taken for mandatory quarantine at the Kenya Medical Training Centre in Makindu for flouting the containment measures,”he said.
On is part, Governor Kivutha Kibwana said his government will adopt home based care in case of exponential growth of Covid 19 cases to prevent the health facilities from being overwhelmed.
“Home based care is working especially in Western countries and we believe it can also work here,” said Governor Kivutha.
Kivutha decried the increasing number of teenage pregnancies and domestic violence cases reported during the pandemic and urged residents to desist from such behaviour.
“Children are spending more time at home due to the pandemic and they should be protected,” he said.