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Counties close offices, assemblies as Covid-19 cases soar

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy JOHN SHILITSA | Thu,Oct 29 2020 00:00:00 EAT
By JOHN SHILITSA | Thu,Oct 29 2020 00:00:00 EAT

Counties are shutting down their offices and county assemblies as coronavirus cases rise in the devolved units.

Yesterday, Kakamega became the latest county to close down after Governor Wycliffe Oparanya ordered county headquarter offices closed for seven days.

Neighbouring counties such as Bungoma and Uasin Gishu have closed down their assemblies after members tested positive.

Mr Oparanya’s move came as the country recorded 1,018 Covid-19 new infections, raising the number of infections to 51,851. A further 16 people have died, raising the death toll to 950.

As the numbers rise, county governments have now started to scale down operations in a bid to control the spread of the disease.

Besides closing the county offices for a week, Oparanya also banned church events such as fundraisers.

He said Covid-19 infections in the county had shot up and 57 health workers were among 316 people, who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Others are senior county officials and top officials at the Kakamega County Assembly, which was closed for two weeks to pave the way for mass testing of staff and the ward representatives.

Positive posthumously

Uasin Gishu County Assembly was shut down last week after a Member of County Assembly (MCA) tested positive posthumously. Huruma MCA Peter Chomba collapsed and died on October 10. Tests conducted on him after his death confirmed he was positive for coronavirus.

At the Bungoma County Assembly, six MCAs and seven members of staff tested positive for Covid-19, prompting the county to close the assembly for a further 14 days.

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Kilifi County wrote to their County Executive Committee members and chief officers on Tuesday, advising the staff to scale down their operations once again in the wake of rising coronavirus cases.

“The new wave of infections in the county has escalated to the extent of infecting some of our own. This, therefore, calls for urgent mitigation measures,” a memo sent from the office of the County Secretary said.

As a result, only essential staff will be retained in the office and all other staff will work from home.

Addressing the press moments after attending the County Covid-19 Response Committee, Oparanya urged the government to designate coronavirus testing centres in Kakamega.

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