//Governor Ali Roba’s sixth media briefing on measures to contain Covid-19 in the county

Governor Ali Roba’s sixth media briefing on measures to contain Covid-19 in the county

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press Good morning and welcome to our routine briefings on the Status of Covid-19 in our beloved Mandera County.
1. Mandera County Government continues to be on a high alert following the reporting of the first two index cases of coronavirus which tested positive two days ago. We continue to step up surveillance, detection, response and are well aware that we have a weak health system inherited after 50 years of under investment in health sector before the advent of devolution. We are alive to the fact that we have long and porous borders with both Ethiopia and Somalia with many unmanned crossing points. Screening of passengers continues and monitoring of border crossing points to customs border and Malka Suftu as well as in other border crossing points across the county continues as part of our surveillance measures.
2. We urge the public to understand that the County Government regular briefings on Covid-19, is the only source of verified information in the county besides the national Ministry of Health updates. We urge the public to ignore anyone sharing unverified information on Covid-19 purporting to be from Mandera County.
3. We are required report all Covid-19 related incidents but we have no control over records outside the jurisdiction of the county government or social media information.
4. We plead with the public and social media platforms to be sensitive to the patients under treatment for coronavirus, healthcare workers offering care and to stop stigmatizing and traumatizing their families. We all want to be Paparazzis fighting to be the first to report yet we are sharing inaccurate information which is dangerous and criminal. Ladies and gentlemen, these are difficult times. Coronavirus is like an invisible enemy that does not differentiate between the young and the old, men or women rich or poor. You have seen that, it is a disease that knows no boundaries or religion. It infects leaders like myself and anybody that comes into contact with it. The disease does not even spare doctors and nurses. It can be me today and you tomorrow.
5. We are handling these challenges as professionally as possible. Sometimes because of the multi-agency approach we use, some gaps may occur. We have never handled an emergency of this nature and magnitude before and we keep encountering gaps but we are determined to do our best. Covid-19 is testing limits of societies and all counties across Kenya. We are rallying all possible resources including finances and personnel to meet immediate health needs and we are scaling up social protection programnes which will begin with food distribution to the most vulnerable families within the next one week.
6. As of now the two patients under our care have registered a lot of improvement. They are doing much better. Their Fever has settled and their coughs subsided.
7. Contact tracing of passengers who travelled in the same bus with the two patients continue despite challenges of patients who disembarked midway before reaching Mandera as well as those whose phone contacts were not captured against the manifest. I would like to assure the public that we are making very good progress with contact tracing for the bus and others who may have made contact with the those patients.
8. Despite progress being made we have run short of sample collection kits, we have more than 30 people in quarantine but we have no kits with which to send samples to Nairobi. We appeal to ministry of health to urgently avail the kits to enable us forward samples for testing.
9. I still make a fresh appeal to the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 to help Mandera set up a testing facility or consider availing a flight to help with movement of samples to the nearest testing facility in Nairobi which is 1,200 kilometers away.
10. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to commend the management of Bulla Mpya Nursing Home which quickly referred the case of the two patients to our Covid-19 response centre. We urge all private health service providers to emulate the gesture as this war against coronavirus requires concerted efforts and isolation to guard against sharing of facilities with other patients. We will give them letter of commendation for the good job.
11. Despite the ban on travel to and from Nairobi, we are reliably informed that unscrupulous transporters have positioned themselves in strategic places outside Nairobi metropolitan borders and still embark on travel to Mandera. We urge our enforcement partners to help us ensure lockdown orders of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta are fully implemented to the letter. Travelers from Nairobi are still sneaking their way into Mandera posing a huge risk to the spread of Coronavirus.
12. Today, I hereby direct that, following the two positive cases of Covid-19 reported in Mandera, and in line with recommended best practices of controlling the spread of Coronavirus, we do not want to expose our staff who are not in essential services category. I consequently direct that they work from home and stay safe. They are further advised to practice social distancing, regular handwashing and to cover their coughs and sneezes. Where necessary it is recommended they wear masks when visiting public areas. The staff of the county must lead by example and be ambassadors of hygiene in the fight against coronavirus spread.
13. The directive on work from home does not apply to staff in essential services category. The essential services category includes staff in Ministry of Health departments, Ministry of Water particularly supply and maintenance teams of Mandera Water and Sewerage Company, Ministry of Finance critical services staff including special programmes team and all revenue department staff, the Fire Brigade, and the Municipality sanitation, greening, enforcement teams, and a select team of drivers will support Covid-19 responses across the county. Non-essential staff will work from home going forward and are urged to observe advisory on hygiene and avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary. ALL staff are directed to seek clarification on the same from their County Executive Committee Members and respective heads of departments and line chief officers for avoidance of confusion. Such permission of working from home must be given in writing.
14. Consequently, Mandera County Government will shut down operations and concentrate focus on Covid-19 detection, prevention, intervention and response. The gates to our offices will remain closed to public and those with urgent issues are advised to send such requests by email to our offices or our telephone lines addressed to the County Secretary and Head of Civil Service. Our Covid-19 Emergency lines will remain in service on a
24-hour basis.
15. Finally, countries that have succeeded in this fight against coronavirus are those that practiced early lock downs to restrict spread. Covid-19 doesn’t spread by itself but spread through movement of people as such we have been left with no choice by to order lockdown within the county. All public transport except those transporting food must be stopped with immediate effect that includes inter-ward, Inter-sub County and movement between villages. The security teams must enforce this order and mount-check points on all roads including those that are serving other counties and neighbouring countries with immediate effect. Failure to lockdown public transport will only mean expectations of mass death within the county and neighbouring regions including our international borders.

By | 2020-11-23T21:08:12+03:00 April 9th, 2020|news|0 Comments

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