Anxiety has gripped residents of Mutomo town in Kitui County following reports that a Chinese national has been isolated at a nearby camp over suspected Coronavirus infection.
The County chief officer in charge of Health Richard Muthoka confirmed that the Chinese national, who works for Synohydro Corporation which is constructing the Kibwezi – Kitui road, has been quarantined at the company’s site, about 3km from Mutomo town.
Muthoka said the victim was among 18 Chinese workers who returned to Kenya recently after a holiday in China.
“He is the only one who has developed symptoms similar to coronavirus and is being held in isolation in one of the company houses,” the county official told the media.
Muthoka, in addition, said that on Monday he dispatched a team of medical personnel to visit the site but were not allowed inside the camp.
“Our officers visited with a view to get a specimen from the victim for analysis at the government chemist but were blocked from going inside the camp. We have organised for them to get police escort in order to access the site,” he said.
Tension was heightened by an anonymous letter purportedly written by a local worker at the campsite who revealed that a sick Chinese national was being hidden there.
"I work with a Chinese company working on the Kibwezi - Mutomo - Kitui road. There is a Chinese who has been sneaked into the country from China and is currently hidden at Mutomo campsite and the other Chinese are cautioning us not to provide any information to any person inquiring about the issue," the letter reads in part.
“As residents of Kitui South, we are very worried about this matter. Those in charge of the (road) project must be held to account on how their workers move in and outside the country in the wake of the deadly virus,” a worried resident told Standard Digital.
A health team from Nairobi is expected to visit the campsite Tuesday to ascertain the reports.