Courts shut in Mombasa after positive tests
By Weldon Kipkemoi | June 20th 2020
The Judiciary has closed its doors to open sessions at the Mombasa Law Courts after 11 of its officers tested positive for Covid-19.
The courts closed barely 72 hours after returning to full operation since March when open sessions were suspended by Chief Justice David Maraga to protect judges, magistrates and other judicial officers from contracting the virus.
In a bid to trace those who have interacted with the positive cases from the main, City and Tononoka Children’s courts, Maraga said 118 officers have already been identified.
“The primary contacts within the courts, totaling to 118 officers, have been identified and must now go into self-quarantine with immediate effect as directed by the Ministry of Health officials,” the CJ said.
This now leaves the Judiciary with no option but to offer virtual services to its court users in the area.
Meanwhile, there were fears of closure of Nyali Police Station where 10 inmates tested positive for the Covid 19 virus this week.
The unprecedented move is to curb further spread of the virus following reports that some police officers have contracted the virus.
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Fear has gripped the station since two robberies with violence detainees tested positive for the virus after being treated at a local hospital where they had been taken for treatment for other ailments and returned to the cells.
These two suspects had previously been charged in a local court before falling ill.
Before their Covid-19 results were conveyed, they infected 10 other inmates who were transferred to an isolation hospital at Shimo la Tewa Prison.
Meanwhile, 28 police officers who interacted with the infected inmates were tested for the virus on Monday but the State has withheld these results.
We reliably learnt that 10 policemen out of the 28 tested on Monday have been asked to proceed on self-isolation in their homes sparking and fears they may have tested positive.
Reports indicate the State fears the implication of releasing positive results. It is also alleged that local police bosses are reluctant to shut down the police station or transfer operations to other places.
Yesterday, the sub-county police boss Daniel Mumasaba said results from Monday’s tests were yet to be released but allayed fears that the officers might have contracted the virus.
‘’We are yet to receive the results but remember if you have not been called then, definitely you have not contracted the disease,’’ he said, ruling that the officers were most likely free of the disease.
A police source told The Standard the officers might have tested positive for the virus and privately received the results before being asked to go for home-based care.
‘’The ten were advised to go for home-based care on Wednesday. They were among the 28 who were tested on Monday. I think they tested positive but because this will not be revealed, they were only told to go for self- isolation,’’ said a source who requested anonymity.
A highly-placed source told The Standard the government will never reveal viral infections among security forces for fear of stoking panic.
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