On Tuesday 11th August, 2020, West Pokot County received official communication from the Ministry of Health (Nairobi) of the newly diagnosed COVID-19 positive cases arising from tests conducted on employees of one of the government institution within the county.
Upon receipt of the information the County County Department of Health, Sanitation and Emergencies sought to establish the story behind the new cases and established as follows;
i. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) contracted Pathologists Lancet Kenya Laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests for its employees countrywide.
ii. That on Tuesday 4th August, 2020 the employees of the ODPP in West Pokot County were invited to Kitale Town where samples for COVID-19 testing were collected by agents of Patholists Lancet Kenya on the same day.
iii. The results of the tests were released yesterday 11th August, 2020 (8 days after the collection of the samples) and the information relayed to the county through Department of Health at 3.04PM.
At the time the County was notified of these results each of the 5 new cases had been contacted and advised to stay in their homes and await County Health teams to provide further advice. Their offices had been closed and everyone (including those who returned negative results) advised to stay home.
The health department contacted all the 5 cases and established that whereas the all work in the County, four of them reside in neighbouring counties and usually commute to work. One case is a resident of West Pokot County.
All the five new cases have been and remain stable and asymptomatic.
The one positive case who is a resident of the County is being evaluated by the health team for home based care in conformity with the national policy and guidelines.
A repeat test will be conducted after 10 days (from the day the sample was collected, not when the result was released) with the view of possible discharge from isolation.
Contact tracing has commenced with rapid response teams currently in the field doing evaluation and reviews. All the legible contacts shall be quarantined appropriately and tested for COVID-19.
The health departments in the home counties of the four cases have been notified for continuity of care.
Residents of West Pokot County are advised, now more than ever, to continue observing health protocols for the prevention and containment of COVID-19.
Prof. John Krop Lonyangapuo
GOVERNOR, WEST POKOT COUNTY