Wednesday June 17, 2020
By MANASE OTSIALO
Mandera County Referral Hospital where Covid-19 patients have been admitted in its isolation centre. A total of 17 out 18 patients have been discharged after recovering from the coronavirus. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Seventeen out of the 18 Covid-19 patients in Mandera County have been discharged from hospital after testing negative even as the county flattened its curve.
Six out of seven patients who were remaining in isolation were discharged on Tuesday after turning negative, Health Executive Mohamud Adan Mohamed said.
“We have flattened the curve for now but we remain vigilant considering our vulnerability as we border Somalia and the rampant movements of our people in and out of Mandera,” said Mr Mohamed.
The Health CEC said the six tested negative for the second time leading to their release.
“We are remaining with only one patient who is in stable condition. He is awaiting a second validation test before being released,” he said the one patient had tested negative but is awaiting a second validation test.
The development is a major boost to Governor Ali Roba’s administration which had enhanced measures to curb the spread of the disease after being declared a hot spot due to the porous border with Somalia and Ethiopia.
The county was placed on a lockdown by the national government together with Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale, causing panic and negatively impacting on businesses.
Movement of people and goods, religious activities, education and work were also affected.
Mandera recorded its first cases from passengers who had travelled from Kilifi to Nairobi before arriving in the frontier county on April 2 by road.
These two infected at least six other people in the county through social interactions.
Another six cases were recorded from camel sellers who returned in the county from a market in Somalia.
Mr Mohamed attributed the success to dedication of the medical staff in Mandera in implementing the set health guidelines.
Days before recording the first case, Mandera County had established isolation centres, quarantine facilities, trained health workers, procured supplies, rehearsed contact tracing protocols and engaged various players on ways of preventing the spread of the disease.
“Our response teams remain in place as we continue to observe the happenings along our common border with Somalia and our people’s movement and interaction behaviours,” said Mr Mohamed.
He maintained that the Mandera crisis was “imported” from Nairobi and Somalia.
“When the first two imported cases landed in Mandera in April via a Makkah bus from Nairobi, the health team was ready and it was all systems go,” said Mr Mohamed.
Mandera has had 18 confirmed Covid-19 cases from 720 tests besides the thousands screened by health teams at entry and exit points.
“All our community surveillance tests have been consistently negative thrice now. This indicates flattening of the curve. While we celebrate this, it is not yet time to rest on our laurels,” the Health CEC said.
“We will keep our vigilance, keep 300 beds ready across the county and keep engaging our community on maintaining disease prevention,” he added.