NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Nairobi County Health Department was Saturday set to kick off random testing for coronavirus in highly populated areas in the city, targeting 200 people.
The areas include Gikomba, Muthurwa, Tea room, Railways and some parts of Eastlands.
Nairobi’s County Executive Committee Member for Health Hitan Majevda said the exercise is aimed at establishing the intensity of potential untested infections within, if any.
Kenya has reported seven cases currently under monitoring and treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital’s Infectious Disease Unit. A dozen others are being monitored.
“This is going to be random as we want to establish magnitude of the virus, especially in areas with high number of people,” said Majevda.
He however said the testing exercise will be voluntary, adding that those who will be tested will have their details and address recorded and will be contacted after the results are out.
“No one will be forced to be screened but there is no need to fear because the process is simple and painless,” the CEC Member said.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Thursday announced that the government will roll out random screenings for COVID-19 targeting members of public, a global pandemic that has so far claimed over 11,000 lives.
In Africa there over 900 cases and death toll is at 2.
Italy is currently reporting the highest death toll globally with over 4,000 deaths and 47,021 others infected.
CS Kagwe Friday said the coming two weeks are the most critical, as Kenya seeks to contain the virus while emphasizing high levels of hygiene and maintenance of social distancing.
“Our actions continue to be guided by the trends we have observed in other countries. Evidence indicates that the number of those infected increases dramatically in the second week following confirmation of first case,” Kagwe said during a press briefing.
As part of strict measures by the government in containing the spread of the virus, entertainment joints have been ordered to close at 7.30pm effective Monday, March 23.
Such facilities, the health ministry said, must also define the maximum number of people at any given time, so that the requirement of 1.5 meters self-distancing requirement is met.
Hundreds of people had been tested after showing symptoms similar to the virus, but turned negative, while dozens more still in isolation, according to the country’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
Supermarkets were also urged to operate for 24 hours so that more people can have enough time to shop. They are however required to put in place Queue Management Systems and guard against overcrowding by limiting the number of shoppers at any given time.