Another Chinese put in isolation over virus scare

Nakuru County Public Health Officer Elizabeth Kiptoo (left) demonstrates to health workers how to put on protective gear to handle suspected cases of coronavirus. [Mercy Kahena, Standard]

A Chinese man who arrived in the country three days ago has been quarantined at his house in Nakuru.

According to authorities, the man had travelled to visit his family in China last December, before travelling back three days ago. 

He arrived in Nakuru on Sunday showing symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection.

The man had taken a taxi from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to his house in Nakuru town’s Upper Hill Estate.

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On Tuesday afternoon, neighbours reported to the local administration that the man who is a secondhand motor vehicle dealer, looked sickly.

Man quarantined

Health officials and local administrators went to the man's house to assess his condition.

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Nakuru Town West Deputy County Commissioner Elmi Shaffi told The Standard that he informed the medical health officer in charge of the sub county, requesting for transfer of the man to a nearby facility, but was advised to have him quarantined.

The deputy county commissioner said public health officers were initially reluctant to visit the man in his house.

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“I informed medical officer to pick the patient with an ambulance to a nearby hospital but they informed me that he such patients could not be transferred because they can easily spread the virus," said Mr Shaffi.

According to a medic who requested anonymity, the patient is suffering from upper respiratory tract infection.

"Health workers are too scared of visiting him after he was found to have respiratory condition," he said.

Symptoms of the emerging virus include cough, respiratory infection symptoms, fever, and shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

According to the chief officer of public health, Samuel King’ori, the patient travelled from Mumbai, and arrived at JKIA where he was screened.

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King’ori said that the patient decided to isolate himself from his family.

“His family suspected he might have been infected with the virus. He is quarantined in the servant quarters,” said King’ori.

He said public health officers are monitoring the patient on a daily basis, including checking his temperatures.

King'ori said they were looking for taxi driver who drove the man to Nakuru.

Training health workers

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The case was reported as the Ministry of Health embarked on training 200 health workers to step up preparedness against the virus.

The health workers are also being trained on symptoms of the virus.

The ministry is collaborating with the Centre for Disease Control and Washington State University.

The training comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared novel corona virus a public health emergency of international concern on January 30.

Up to 24 countries have reported cases of coronavirus since it was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.

“Four of the 24 countries report cases where likely exposure occurred outside the reporting country and outside China,” reads a WHO report.

Kenya is ranked sixth, among African countries, at the risk of the virus, according to a study by Northeastern University in the US.

Are you suspecting that you have coronavirus? Before you rush to the hospital, do this quick easy self-assessment test. #StayHome #WashYourHands HERE.

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NakuruCOVID-19Jomo Kenyatta International AirportUpper Hill Estate