The County Government of Kitui has allayed fears of a possible coronavirus incident following reports that a Chinese national has been isolated at a Chinese firm site in Mutomo over suspected Coronavirus infection.
The County Health Chief Officer Dr Richard Muthoka confirmed that the Chinese national, who works for Sinohydro Corporation, which is constructing the Kibwezi – Mutomo – Kitui road, has been quarantined at the company’s site.
Dr Muthoka said on Monday evening he dispatched a team of medical personnel to visit the site but were not allowed access to the suspected patient.
“Our officers visited with a view to get a specimen from the victim for analysis but were blocked from going inside the camp. But they went back this morning in the company of police officers and were allowed to examine the isolated Chinese national,” he said.
The county official, however, affirmed that the tests came out negative and that the isolated Sinohydro official did not exhibit any of the common coronavirus symptoms including fever, running nose and cough.
“There’s there no cause for alarm because tests have shown that the Chinese national is free of the coronavirus but is isolation is a standard procedure for everybody visiting the country from China,” he added.
Muthoka noted that the isolated Sinohydro official, who jetted into the country on February 16 had flown to China for a vacation sometime in January.
“His colleagues picked him from JKIA and drove to the Mutomo campsite where he was immediately put into isolation for 14 days which is also the coronavirus incubation period,” he explained.
The chief officer further indicated that the national health ministry had dispatched a team of experts from Nairobi to complement his team in handling the situation so as to prevent mass panic or possible outbreak of the viral disease.
In a quick rejoinder, Sinohydro Corporation Chief Engineer Zeng Yun dismissed as falsehoods earlier media reports that the worker had been isolated after developing symptoms of the coronavirus.
“That’s not true. He has only been isolated as per standard procedure as advised by the Chinese Embassy in Kenya. If all turns out well after the 14 days elapse he will be allowed to interact with the rest and resume his duties,” he told journalists at his office at the Mulutu site in Kitui Central.