‘Expect a surge in numbers in Kawangware’, DG Amoth says

'Expect a surge in numbers in Kawangware', DG Amoth says
Public health officers carrying out fumigation and disinfection in Kawangware on may 1, 2020 to prevent community spread of coronavirus. PHOTO | MOH

Seven more people from Kawangware have tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number of cases in the area to 20.

Dr. Patrick Amoth, the Director General at the Health Ministry, said on Saturday that they expect a surge in numbers following mass testing that began on Friday.

“12 of the cases in Kawangware can be traced back to one individual. This individual used to work with us at the emergency operation center,” he revealed.

The DG explained that 6 primary contacts contracted the virus from one individual which then led to transmission of the disease to five other people.

He emphasized on the importance of isolation and quarantine saying the country will require more quarantine facilities.

“This is what will lead to flattening of the curve,” Dr. Amoth said.

Earlier, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said targeted testing in hotspot areas had revealed that COVID-19 is spreading within communities.

She said the numbers recorded in the initial day of the exercise confirmed this.

“It is therefore important that in order to break the cycle of transmission within our communities we must strictly observe the containment measures and in particular, social distancing. If we do not adhere to these measures, the disease is bound to spread quickly in our communities,” Dr. Mwangangi said.

“We began targeted testing in Kawangware and people volunteered to be tested. It is from this exercise that seven new cases were confirmed,” she added.

Kawangware, where voluntary testing rolled out, is an area where social distancing can be a challenge, according to Ministry of Health official Lydia Mudeyo.

“The social distancing in this area is difficult and therefore it is advisable for the government and the ministry as a whole to take the initiative of educating the common mwananchi [referring to an ordinary citizen] on how to do the hand washing and the social distancing and that is why we decided, first of all, to do the mass testing in this area so that it can advise us on the outbreak in this area,” Mudeyp said.

If they test negative, residents of Kawangware hope they stand a better chance of finding jobs in the impoverished African country.

“I am very happy because I know my status now and my family will be safe and also when I go to look for work elsewhere, since I am a hotelier, I know things will be good,” Monica Wairimu, a Kawangware resident who was among those tested.

Wairimu said that due to the coronavirus outbreak, her business has drastically declined and as the COVID-19 hit the country, she was selling a quarter of what she used to.

Additional report from VOA

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