Govt Officers Locked Out of Chinese Camp Over Coronavirus Scare

  • Medical workers move patients to a hospital in Wuhan, China on January 17, 2020.
    Medical workers move patients to a hospital in Wuhan, China on January 17, 2020.
    Foreign Policy
  • UPDATE: Kitui County Chief Officer Richard Muthoka disclosed that police were later notified to allow the medics to access the camp to diagnose Chinese nationals suspected to have contracted coronavirus.

    A group of government health workers was on Tuesday, February 18, locked out of a Chinese camp in Kitui County where they had been sent to examine a case of Coronavirus infection.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, a journalist based in the area disclosed that a Chinese man working with Synohydro Corporation, which was contracted with the tarmacking of the Kibwezi-Kitui-Mwingi Road, had been quarantined after being suspected of having contracted the disease.

    The suspect was reportedly placed in an isolated room and given one caretaker. Witnesses disclosed that cooks at the camp were passing him food through the window.

    A photo of a masked Kakamega County government official on January 28, 2020.
    A masked Kakamega County government official on January 28, 2020.
    Twitter

    "On Sunday evening at around 7:21 p.m., there were two Chinese men that were brought into that camp. They were using a Probox.

    "One was isolated in the camp and has been given one caretaker who is also Chinese. No one else is allowed to get close to the house," stated the journalist.

    "Every person approaching there was wearing protective gear such as masks. The house is located at the camp.

    We spoke to the Kitui Chief Officer Richard Muthoka who told us that they were sending guys there to monitor the situation," she continued.

    The officer had earlier noted that the suspected victim was among a group of 18 Chinese nationals who had returned into the country after flying to China.

    He further urged the area residents to keep calm since the medical officers were on the ground and taking care of the situation.

    According to a report by the New York Times, more than 1,600 have died from the virus since December 2019 with more than 73,000 others suspected to have contracted the virus.

    On Wednesday, February 5, the government, through the Ministry of Health, released a report over the extent of the disease in the country.

    The statement shared by the ministry confirmed that all reported cases of the disease, at the time estimated at seven, in the country were found to be negative.

    "Kenya has not had any case of novel coronavirus 2019. Our surveillance system is on high alert and to date has picked seven suspected cases (two in  Mombasa and five in Nairobi) all of whom have turned negative on laboratory testing.

    "Similarly, follow-ups have been made in Mombasa, Kiambu and Kitui counties where suspected cases have been reported," read a section of the statement at the time.

    A photo of Workers in protective suits disinfect the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station following the Coronavirus outbreak on January 27, 2020
    Workers in protective suits disinfect the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station following the Coronavirus outbreak on January 27, 2020.