Governors warn against relaxing Covid protocols

Thursday, July 15th, 2021 00:00 |
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o washes his hands during a handwashing campaign. Photo/PD/vViola Kosome

Noven Owiti and Viola Kosome

Two governors yesterday sounded a warning to residents against laxity in adherence to Covid-19 containment measures following reports of reduction in infections.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and his Busia counterpart Sospeter Ojaamong said there was need to continue observing the Ministry of Health protocols.

Some counties in the Lake Basin region, which were last month declared Covid-19 hotspots, following a surge in infections, have in recent days recorded a drop in cases.

In a Ministry of Health report on July 13, Kisumu came second after Nairobi with 133 cases.

Uasin Gishu had 45 cases, Busia 18, Siaya 14, Vihiga seven, Kisii six, Nyamira five, Bungoma five Homa Bay two and Bomet one.

But on July 12, Kisumu had no reported cases, Siaya had seven, Uasin Gishu two, Homa Bay one and Kakamega one.

On July 11, Kisumu had zero cases, Siaya four, Homa Bay three, Kisii three, while Uasin Gishu and Bomet registered one each.

While raising concern over the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the county, Ojaamong noted that the statistics in the border county painted a grim picture and if necessary precautions were not put in place the situation could get worse.

Contacts tracing

He said the State of affairs had led to increased hospitalisation of patients alongside overstretched fatalities.

“Every individual should take responsibility to protect themselves and their loved ones,’’ he said during a press briefing after a meeting with the County Covid-19 Response team at the Busia County Referral Hospital on Tuesday.

He noted that 67 new confirmed cases were reported in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 4,947 as at Monday.

“The reported number of deaths since the beginning of this pandemic is now 3,” he said.

He added: “To address this worrying trend we have ensured that all symptomatic cases are tested, intensified surveillance and contact tracing. We have also enhanced communication on behaviuor change and ensured adherence to Covid-19 containment protocols.”

Busia County Commissioner John Korir urged residents to adhere to Covid-19 protocols while in public places instead o f waiting for the law enforcers to go after them.

Nyong’o reminded the residents of Kisumu to continue strictly observing the MoH Covid-19 containment protocols, saying another wave was imminent if caution is thrown to the winds.

He stressed that success in slowing the Covid-19 curve required concerted efforts by everyone.

“Covid-19 is still ravaging our country and Kisumu is among those bearing the brunt of the virus.

We have lost our people and livelihoods have been destroyed. Let us help to stop the virus by strictly observing the public health protocols,” Nyong’o said.

Nyong’o warned residents against lowering their guard even as recorded cases decrease.

This comes even as health workers in the county yesterday threatened to down their tools over unresolved grievances among them poor working conditions and delayed salaries.

Union officials, led by the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Kisumu branch Secretary Craus Odhiambo, Kenya National Union of Nurses Kisumu branch secretary Anne Owiti and the Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers branch secretary Hillary Awili, gave the county government two weeks to address their grievances, failure to which they will boycott work.

Strike threat

Odhiambo claimed the county government had illegally withheld salaries of a section of health workers.

“We are asking the county government to pay salaries of our members, failure to which they should not blame the union for taking action to demand their rights,” Odhiambo said.

The union leaders also accused the county government for not remitting deductions, particularly the non-statutory ones, such as bank loans, insurance premiums, union dues. 

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