Coronavirus spreads to Kakamega, forces Governor to shut down offices

Kakamega governor has closed county offices for two weeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus as county reported its first case.

Announcing the shutdown on today, Thursday 26th March, Governor Oparanya said that only staff from the essential services departments; health, fire brigade, security and enforcement, water and revenue collection departments will remain on duty during the closure.

“We don’t want visitors and that is why we’re closing down and those who will remain in office must strictly observe the measures spelled out by both levels of government,” Oparanya said.

Governor Oparanya revealed that the family of a University of Switzerland student who tested positive for the virus had been quarantined in their home in Mumias East and their blood samples taken to Kemri, Kisumu for testing.

Also quarantined are three Asians working in Shinyalu sub-county who travelled abroad less than a week ago.

“As we speak, the county disease surveillance team has been able to find the boda doda rider who ferried the student to a Bungoma hospital and has been quarantined at the Kakamega infectious disease unit. He is showing some signs of the virus and results for his sample will be known by evening today,” he said.

On Wednesday, Oparanya said that boda boda operators were the weakest link in the fight against the control of spread of the disease

Oparanya said that the villagers were hostile to the family of the victim and wanted them evicted for fear of spreading the virus. Kakamega county commissioner Pauline Dola said that arrangements were being made to provide the family with water.

“They did not have water and I asked the Mumias East sub-county commissioner to take some to them as we organise for a water boowser to go there,’ she said.

Oparanya said that the Council of Governors was set to meet through teleconference to agree on salary cuts to borrow a leaf from the national government.

“This is a weighty matter that I cannot take a decision on alone without consulting my colleagues and I know they will not have a problem with that,” he said.

With Governor Oparanya confirming the three possible cases, it is now official the virus is in the rural counties and its a matter of time before shit hits the fan. All persons are requested to follow government guidelines to curb the spread.