Local News

Kisumu County on high alert after the county reported the Indian variant of COVID-19

A dispatch released on Wednesday evening by the county health executive Boaz Otieno stated that the county disease surveillance teams have embarked on aggressive contact tracing.

The CEC said that 8 foreign nationals believed to have travelled recently from India into the county had tested positive for the deadly variant.

The 8 foreigners are employees of a local factory based in Kisumu City according to the county health minister.

100 contacts, who are employees of the said company suspected to have interacted with the eight cases have been traced.

The CEC said that the contacts have been placed in a quarantine facility within the county.

” The County Government of Kisumu has stepped up surveillance after the Indian the variant of COVID-19 was detected in the county,” he said in the statement.

Otieno said that following gene sequencing carried out on samples by the National government testing laboratories, it has been ascertained that one of the samples turned positive for the Indian variant of COVID-19.

” The County Government has confirmed at least 8 foreign nationals who tested positive to the Indian variant and is currently conducting an elaborate contact tracing to help stop the spread of the virus,” he said.

“At least 100 other workers who are said to have had close contact with the 8 have been placed under strict quarantine as the county moves with speed to stop a further spread of the Virus,” he said in the dispatch seen by Oyominto TV.

He said the situation is under control but urged  Kisumu residents to continue adhering to the COVID-19 protocols to help keep away the stubborn virus.

” Our disease surveillance teams are alert and contact tracing is going on. Our people must avoid gatherings and wear masks at all times,” said the CEC.

On Wednesday evening, the ministry of health announced that five cases of the Indian coronavirus variant have been picked in the country.

The ministry said the five are Indian nationals working on a fertiliser plant in Kisumu.

Health DG Dr Patrick Amoth who made the announcement said the five cases were picked up on Thursday last week on arrival in the country before the ban on flights from India was imposed.

“This variant has been picked in Kenya and because of connectivity, it was just a matter of time. You cannot be able to put barriers to prevent a virus from accessing your territory,” Amoth said.

The B.1.617 variant has been blamed for India’s second wave of infections that has seen the country’s cases surge to more than 20 million.

The variant has been classified by the World Health Organisation as a variant of interest.

The variant was recorded in Uganda last week. The variant had been detected in recent days on a Ugandan who had returned from a visit to India.

The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has warned India’s intense outbreak was a reminder that Africa must stay vigilant.

By Darlington Mose

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