Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya has ordered county government offices to be shut down for 15 days as a means to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The only offices to remain open are those for health services, security and enforcement, water and sanitation, cleaning and garbage collection and, finance and revenue.
The executive order follows Kakamega’s recording of its first positive Covid-19 case, a 19-year-old student, who travelled from Switzerland through Qatar-Nairobi-Kisumu airports and on to his rural home in Musanda Ward, Mumias West Sub-County.
“Samples taken from the student, who is now in isolation at Mbagathi Hospital, Nairobi, tested positive and we have also traced the boda boda rider, who ferried him to his rural home. He is now quarantined at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital awaiting his results,” Oparanya said.
In addition, the governor added, the county was awaiting results for six more victims, including three senior officers who flew back into the country in February from Italy and three Asians working in Shinyalu Sub-County.
“Timothy Aseka, Member of County Assembly (MCA) in Khwisero Sub- County, who travelled from London this month together with his family, must be placed under isolation as we monitor their situation,” he directed.
The governor urged residents to exercise compassion to the affected family, observing that the residents were hostile to the boy’s family as the news of his status reached the village.
The sentiments were echoed by County Commissioner Pauline Dola, who also warned teachers against conducting tuition for students during this period. She called on parents to caution their children against unnecessary movement.
Governor Oparanya announced that the county had set up screening equipment at all Level 4 hospitals and at the county general and referral hospital and encouraged patients to visit the facilities for general screening.
He said a raft of measures had been put in place by the County Emergency Response team, which he co-chairs with the county commissioner. They include sensitisation of residents on the preventive measures required to contain the virus.
Also targeted are 11,068 medical personnel, community health volunteers. Other measures include the repair of water leakages and installation of 100-litre water tanks in markets and bus stages across the county to ensure a steady supply of water to maintain high levels of hygiene.