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Mask mandatory in Mandera, Roba orders as Covid cases surge

Tuesday November 17, 2020

Security teams to arrest and charge anybody found contravening the directive.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba
Mandera Governor Ali Roba. Image: FILE

Mandera residents must put on face masks whenever they step out of their homes in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Ali Roba has said. 

Roba ordered county enforcement and security teams to arrest and charge anybody contravening the directive.

“All subcounty and ward administrators are directed to work closely with health and security teams to make sure compliance is enforced to the letter,” Roba said at a press briefing on the status of Covid-19 in the county.

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Roba said the county is seeing an upsurge of serious symptomatic Covid-19 patients.  

“It must be known that it is only through community involvement in observing preventive precautions that we can defeat this scourge,” he said.

The governor said all service points in the county and national government offices will adopt a “NO Mask No Service” policy and also check temperatures of all visitors.

Matatu operators were also asked to comply with all preventive measures or else their permits will be revoked.

The county chief asked leaders of mosques and churches to ensure that congregants wear masks, set up hand-washing points, observe social distancing and bring own mats for prayers.

“The public is advised to visit health facilities when feeling sick or showing symptoms like coughing, fever, sneezing and should not fear the stigma associated with the disease. The corona illness in most instances is short-lived but we must not relax in observing public health protocols,” Roba said.

The governor said the county has set up isolation facilities with 306 beds and provides intensive care services at Mandera County Referral Hospital which has 16 ICU beds. 

The Mandera Rehabilitation Centre and Elwak Subounty hospitals have been upgraded and testing scaled-up.  

Roba said the last person to die with Covid-19 had difficulty in breathing and was rushed to a private facility where passed on within minutes of arrival. Samples collected from the body turned positive, he said.

“Across the learning institutions, only one case of confirmed Covid-19 was recorded at Duse Secondary School and is stable under home-based care,” he said.

The county chief said the total number of confirmed cases in Mandera county was 80 with four deaths reported since the outbreak.

Roba said the county had tested 1172 samples since March. Of these, 854 were tested in Nairobi and 318 at Mandera molecular lab.

He said 70 health workers were screened for the disease. One was positive.

“A total of 88 schools were inspected for Covid-19 compliance at all subcounties and the exercise is on-going,” he said.

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