High alert in Ruaka as four test positive for Covid-19

Monday, April 27th, 2020 00:00 | By
A Kiambu county worker fumigates Ruaka town as part of the measures to tame the spread of coronavirus. Photo/PD/Martin Mukangu

Ruaka, a fast-growing suburb that straddles Kiambu and Nairobi counties, is being closely monitored over concerns it could become a hotspot of the coronavirus pandemic after four cases were confirmed in the area.

The cases in the densely-populated area, which according to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe were of people who have no recent history of travel, caused panic over fears that the disease could spread rapidly unless urgent measures are taken.

Local leaders have been making efforts to ensure residents observe the behavioural protocols issued by the government to stop the spread of the virus. 

A shopping centre squeezed between residential flats has also been disinfected recently in a bid to avert an outbreak.

No visitors

Yesterday, Kiambaa Deputy County Commissioner Peter Maina said 82 people were quarantined at an apartment in the area where the four people tested positive for the virus.

“Their landlord is also co-operative and  has been making arrangements to ensure the tenants access anything they needed from outside so as to make them comfortable as they wait for the 14 days of quarantine to lapse. We are also not allowing any visitors to the apartment named Jalde Heights,” Maina said.

The confirmation of the cases has put the local leadership on high alert after it emerged that the area, which also hosts foreigners and United Nations employees, due to its proximity to the capital, could turn into an epicentre for the disease.

Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange said they have been working with the provincial administration and county officials to keep the area on 24-hour surveillance to avoid the spread of the virus by maintaining hygiene and ensuring people observe laid down rules.

High population

“Ruaka could be badly hit by the virus if not carefully handled because of its situation which makes it very vulnerable. We have people of all kinds, including foreigners, living there. The area is also densely populated. But we have fumigated public places and flats where suspicion has been raised,” Koinange said.

Following the confirmation of the cases, four wards in Kiambaa namely Muchatha, Gachie, Karuri and Kihara, were fumigated by the county government of Kiambu with help from Senator Kimani Wamatangi Foundation.

Ruaka open-air market has been closed down indefinitely as part of the measures to control the spread.

Some residents, a majority who are middle class, have been accused of flaunting government measures.

“We have been engaging with the DC to ensure that people are adhering to the rules especially in the public places because if the disease was to spread, it could be difficult to control because of the huge population,” Koinage said.

Others areas which Koinange said are being closely monitored by the authorities are Gachie and Kihara which are also densely populated.

The deputy county commissioner appealed to the residents of the sub-county to remain vigilant and report any cases of people with symptoms so that they can get assistance.

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