Contacts of Isiolo Covid-19 case isolated, 53 being traced

Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti (left) and County Commissioner Herman Shambi during distribution of rice and cooking oil the Garbatulla Sub-County Hospital quarantine centre on May 10, 2020. Some 17 people who came into contact with the county's Covid-19 patient, who travelled from Eastleigh in Nairobi, have been quarantined at the centre. PHOTO | WAWERU WAIRIMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Governor Mohamed Kuti said samples had been collected and taken to Nairobi for testing.
  • He said the bed capacity at the Garbatulla quarantine centre had been increased from 20 to 70.

At least 17 people who came into contact with Isiolo’s Covid-19 patient, who sneaked into the county from Eastleigh in Nairobi, have been quarantined in Garbatulla.

At the same time, tracing of over 50 residents who physically interacted with the patient is ongoing.

They include the victim’s relatives, workers at his shop and three others spread in Garbatulla and Merti who reportedly travelled with him from Nairobi to Isiolo town on the night of April 29, 2020.

Also quarantined at the Garbatulla centre is a man from Mogadishu, Somalia, who was arrested in Boji while traveling towards Isiolo town using the Garissa-Modogashe route on Friday.


While assessing the level of preparedness at Garbatulla Sub-County Hospital, Governor Mohamed Kuti said samples had been collected and taken to Nairobi for testing.

An officer privy to the matter told the Nation that the security team has already acquired the passenger manifest for the bus that the patient travelled in from Isiolo town to his Garbatulla home.

The 62-year-old businessman reportedly spent a night at an unknown lodge in Isiolo town where he interacted with some friends before traveling home on the morning of April 30.


Mr Kuti, who was flanked by County Commissioner Herman Shambi, said the bed capacity at the Garbatulla quarantine centre had been increased from 20 to 70 to comfortably handle those being traced for having interacted with the patient.

“We will add seven more beds to the Garbatulla Hospital wards and continue empowering our health facilities by providing necessary resources such as protective gear for use by health workers in the frontline Covid-19 fight,” said Mr Kuti.

The governor said two vehicles had been deployed to the area to assist the health and security teams in the ongoing contact tracing.


Mr Shambi ordered that all buses operating along the Isiolo-Garbatulla-Merti route to share their manifests with the security team before embarking on any journey. The manifest should have passengers’ names and contact details.

This, he said, will help in easy contact tracing should a person suspected of having contracted the deadly virus use the route.

Local leaders led by nominated MCA Sumeiya Bishar have called for more stringent measures along the border points, lamenting that people continue to sneak into the county from Eastleigh and other regions with confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The county’s Special Programmes department led by Chief Officer Abdia Dabaso on Saturday distributed rice and cooking oil to those at the quarantine centres in the sub-county to relieve their families of the burden of buying food for them.

The department also gave the health team 170 personal protective equipment, 350 face masks, 140 safety googles, and thermo guns for temperature checks.


Governor Kuti called for concerted efforts in containing the pandemic and appealed to the youth in the region to volunteer to assist in the fumigation of public places.

He expressed concern over the decline in the number of residents visiting hospitals in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, maintaining that all the other services are being offered. He said the hospitals are safe as fumigation was being done on a daily basis.

Mr Kuti condemned the recent sharing of the Covid-19 patient’s photo and biodata on social media platforms, noting that it had subjected the man and his family to emotional torture.

“I want to apologise to the man and his family over the incident and appeal to all of us to be tolerant and sympathise with people who contract the virus and not castigating them. Anyone can contract the disease and there is no need for such condemnation,” the governor said when he met health workers at the hospital.


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