Quarantine centres closed as cases drop
By Mercy Kahenda | October 2nd 2020
Counties in the South Rift region have closed quarantine centres.
Most such centres in Baringo, Kericho, Laikipia, Nakuru, Nyandarua, and Bomet counties were learning institutions that are currently being fumigated in preparation for reopening.
According to the Ministry of Health Covid-19 case management protocol, contacts and suspected cases are to be quarantined either at home or in other designated facilities.
In Bomet, contact and suspected cases were managed at Tenwek High School, Siongiroi Girls, and Kaplong Girls, institutions that have since been closed.
County Health Executive Joseph Sitonik said Tenwek High School was the most active facility, as it is the place where individuals who could not be managed at home were receiving medical care.
“Quarantine centres used to hold suspected individuals who had traveled and had been in contact with people who had suffered Covid-19, but with home-based care, we have decided to manage the patients at the family level,” said Dr Sitonik in an interview.
Nakuru had quarantine centres at Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), Naivasha Girls, and Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI).
The centres, according to the Chief Officer of Public Health Samuel King’ori, have since been closed.
Mr King’ori said at least 460 community health volunteers had been trained to help in tracing suspected and contact cases.
They link asymptomatic patients to respective Covid-19 set isolation centres in respective hospitals for treatment and management.
Home-based management is encouraged to individuals with mild symptoms, as per the World Health Organisation's Covid-19 case management.
However, all personnel who have access to cases and the contacts should observe standard and transmission precautions while at home.
“Individuals placed on home-based care are trained on basics like importance of handwashing and wearing face masks all the time,” said King’ori.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nakuru was one of the Covid-19 hotspot counties, alongside Busia, Garissa, Kajiado, Machakos, Migori, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi, Siaya, Uasin Gishu and Wajir.
Kericho had a quarantine centre at the local KMTC in Kapkatet, which has since been closed.
The county's Health Director Betty Lang’at said the centre was closed to embrace home-based care.
The county has active Covid-19 isolation centres at Ainamoi Health Centre and Kericho County Hospital.
“All our patients are in a stable condition, as we continue to sensitise the public about the disease and how to take precautions,” said Dr Lang’at.
She added that community health volunteers were being engaged to help in managing patients at home, and those who are symptomatic directed to hospitals.
“We only manage asymptomatic patients at home to avoid causing more infections,” said the health official.
Baringo admitted at least 50 suspected cases at KMTC Kabarnet during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the months of April, May and June.
Baringo Medical Services Chief Officer Gideon Toromo said though there was no active case in the county, contact tracing continued.
Positive cases are admitted at Mogotio Sub-county Hospital.
“Though there is laxity among the public on Covid-19 screening and care, we are conducting civic education on Covid-19 management to prevent any active cases from spreading,” said the health official.
However, there are no patients under home-based care in the county.
Laikipia Health Executive Lenai Kamario said a quarantine centre at the Nanyuki Agriculture Society of Kenya remained active.
Elsewhere, a quarantine centre at Nyandarua High School was closed several weeks ago to pave way for the school's re-opening.
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