Operators of private health facilities in Mandera have been directed to refer all patients with signs of Covid-19 to county hospitals. Governor Ali Roba said the county health facilities staff have been trained on handling Covid-19 patients to prevent the disease spread.He warned that stern action would be taken on private healty practitioners who delay to refer patients with Covid 19 symptoms to county hospitals.Addressing the media outside his office in Mandera Town, Mr Roba said two people had since died of Covid-19 complications in the county.Six more people had tested positive of Covid-19 in the border county bringing the total to 26.Some 38 samples, Mr Roba said, were taken to Nairobi for testing on Thursday with six people testing positive of the pandemic. Mr Roba announced that the county will start testing Covid-19 in Mandera “soon” after the Kenya Medical Research Institute installed machines. The county boss said Kemri staff had been deployed in the county to conduct the testing and that safety measures were being put in place.The county has been relying on costly flying of samples to Nairobi for testing. Following the lifting of the lockdown after the initial surge of Covid 19, the governor who is chairman of Frontier Counties Development Council said “we are witnessing a second wave of this pandemic in our Country and Mandera County is no exemption.””The more alarming thing currently is the increasing number of deaths, and in which no age group is spared. We are also seeing a worrying trend where patients undergoing management and are stable one minute suddenly degenerating in condition the next minute and succumbing to Covid-19,” Mr Roba said.He noted that the battle to contain Covid-19 “can only be won with the full and effective participation of the public in adhering to all health guidelines in the prevention of Covid-19.””Simply put, it is now time to take greater individual responsibility more than ever before,” Mr Roba said.He added: “This disease is a living threat to humanity and we are in a phase where deaths are increasing, and from the look of things the worst is yet to come.”He urged young people and the energetic members of society to protect their parents by observing personal protection. “To our public, this is a war. It has just started getting nasty. We must equally equip ourselves with knowledge and never let down our guard by being complacent on basic prevention measures,” he said.He called on locals to ensure frequent hand hygiene, wearing of masks and avoid crowdsHe said Mosques leaders should ensure all congregations observe Ministry of Health guidelines. He told security personnel to act on PSV vehicles flouting curfew rules and entering Mandera County way past curfew hours and start their journey in the wee hours of morning. Mr Roba said his administration has put up 306 beds across the county and equipped the beds for isolation of Covid-19 patients as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta. “We also have a total of 15 ICU beds at Mandera County Referral Hospital and at Elwak Referral Hospital,” he said.