BY RAYMOND MWAKWAYA
A senior Kilifi County executive officer was on Friday forcefully quarantined after arriving recently from Germany sparking fears of spreading the deadly infectious COVID-19 through contacts.
Hinting on a suspect on the loose during his Friday briefing in Nairobi, the health cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government would use ‘force’ to isolate those who refuse to quarantine themselves.
“Today, we have been forced to quarantine an individual in Kilifi County after refusing to do so, on arrival from abroad. And we will continue doing so to protect other Kenyans from the contagious virus,” he said.
Sources privy to the incident told The COAST Newspaper the said officer was picked from his local residence and taken to one of the isolation centres within the County.
Coming from one of the high-risk countries in the West, fears are that the officer, under observation, might have contracted the infectious disease and spreading the same to others before his forced isolation.
According to the sources the officer resisted the isolation on claims that he was already on self-quarantine but the medical personnel heard none of this and picked him.
“The senior executive officer arrived the other day before the International Women’s Day and I am sure he must have come into contact with several people within his village and the County at large because he attended the Women’s Day celebrations,” the sources said.
Contacted for comments, the Kilifi County Governor Ammerson Kingi said he is still waiting for a word from CS Mutahi on the matter.
“The cabinet secretary announced that they are following up a case in Kilifi so let’s wait for the protocol to take its cause,” he said on a phone interview but remained noncommittal on the issue.
However, other officers contacted for comments confirmed that the suspect indeed had arrived recently from abroad and fears are he could have contracted the dreaded corona virus.
A spot-check by The COAST Newspaper established that the senior executive officer had interacted with the public in several occasions during County events or functions.
His further contacts with colleagues – the governor, executive committee members and chief officers – has sparked ‘panic’ among them they might have been infected by the contagious virus.
“Most of the senior officers have panicked because they have interacted with the individual in different functions after his arrival from abroad. My worry is nobody can tell his or her fate now,” said one of the CeCs.
Early this week the governor announced several measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.
Among them being banning of social gatherings such as mangwe, burial and wedding ceremonies. He further ordered county officers to operate from home.
The Coast Newspaper established that on Wednesday the Treasury was under lockdown and only a few officers were allowed to access the building.
This order was directed by the Governor in line with the preventive measures by the National government in combating the spread of Coronavirus.
Earlier, flanked by the County Commissioner Magu Mutindika, Governor Kingi said the national government will enforce all the orders and even arrest all those who will be found flouting them.
The Governor added that his government had set aside Sh75 million and established several isolation centres to curb the scourge. Among the isolation centres are Gede, Jibana, Mbudzi, Mnarani and Ganze.
The CECommittee member for Health Dr Anisa Omar said so far 120 personnel have been trained to handle any emerging cases relating to the virus.
So far, Kenya has confirmed seven coronavirus cases.