By PATRICK KIMANZI
A Chinese national has been isolated in Kitui after showing symptoms similar to those of coronavirus, making him the maiden case in Kenya to contract the virus, Kitui County health officials said on Monday.
The Chinese national working for Synohydro Corporation, the company currently tarmacking the Kibwezi-Kitui-Mwingi road has been quarantined at the company’s site near Mutomo, a trading centre in Kitui South, Dr. Richard Muthoka, a Kitui County official in Charge of Health told local reporters.
Dr Muthoka said that the victim was among 18 Chinese labourers who returned to Kenya recently after an holiday in China.
Muthoka however explained the the Chinese national was ‘the only one who developed symptoms similar to coronavirus and was isolated by the company manager in one of company’s Mutomo camp structures.
“We have received information that he is held in isolation in one of the company houses. Cooks have been advised to serve him food through a window,” said Muthoka on phone speaking to COUNTY DIARY.
The health officer added that he had dispatched medical personnel from Kitui to Mutomo in a bid to reach the Chinese and draw a specimen for analysis at the Government Chemist.
“My officers were not allowed into the company site due to the Chinese bureaucratic red tape. I have therefore advised them to get security officers from the Mutomo Sub-County police headquarters so that they can reach the sick Chinese and get a specimen for testing,” said the County health chief.
Muthoka said health officials were on the ground in Mutomo and advised residents to keep away from the site where the patient has been quarantined.
The coronavirus, first reported in China last month, originated from Wuhan Province and has killed over 600 people as it spreads fast across the globe.