Four people, a 72-year-old Somali American man, his son, grandson, and a driver were on Thursday, March 19 isolated at after the man was diagnosed with a high fever.
Daily Nation on Friday, March 20 reported that the man had travelled from the US on March 16, 2020, before proceeding to Kakuma, Lodwar.
Turkana West Sub-county Medical Health Officer Dr Dominic Ongaki informed that the four were travelling in a Probox vehicle when they were stopped by police officers at the Kakuma-Lodwar border.
He stated that the medical officers had no choice but to isolate him after he was diagnosed with a fever, adding to the fact the 72-year-old had just travelled back into the country from the US.
“The three who are refugees at Kakuma Refugee Camp and their driver were stopped at Lokore roadblock where they were screened. They were all taken to hospital where they will continue being in isolation awaiting results on Covid-19 tests,” Ongaki stated.
The health officer added that the vehicle the four were travelling in had been taken to the hospital for sterilization.
Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok had, in preparation to combat Coronavirus, set up 57 isolation beds across 12 hospitals in the county.
Nanok had directed that any person within the county exhibiting signs of infection would be isolated until tested negative.
On the evening of Thursday, March 19, a Chinese national who works for a construction company was admitted to a hospital in Lodwar with respiratory tract infection. This reportedly caused panic in the region.
Residents who were seeking treatment at Lodwar County Referral Hospital ran away after alleging the Chinese man had symptoms similar to those of Coronavirus.
“This is a dangerous disease that spreads very quickly. It’s better to run away from anyone, especially a foreigner presenting symptoms such as difficulty in breathing and coughing,” a local remarked.
The state of panic reportedly spread across the town after some residents shared the allegations on social media.
However, County Health Chief Officer Eloto Abok refuted the claims, terming them false. He stated that the Chinese national was among seven others who were under self-quarantine and had visited the hospital for treatment.
“During the period of monitoring the patients, we even linked up with Disease Surveillance Unit in Nairobi and none of the patients we are monitoring meet the standard case definition for Covid-19,” Abok stated.
He further informed that the man had no fever and neither did he exhibit any sign of Covid-19 symptoms.