DPP office in West Pokot closed after 5 positive Covid-19 tests

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in West Pokot County has been closed indefinitely after 5 officials tested positive for Covid-19. The County government has kicked off testing at the judiciary and the prisons department after confirmation that the five officials might have come to into contact with other officials.

Addressing the press in Kapenguria, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said the County health department received official communication from the Ministry of Health in Nairobi of the newly diagnosed Covid-19 positive cases arising from tests conducted on employees of the ODPP. Upon receiving the information, the County Department of Health, Sanitation and Emergencies sought to establish the story behind the new cases and the five cases have already been put under home based care in conformity with Health Ministry’s guidelines.

He said the results of the tests were released on 11th August, 8 days after the collection of the samples, and the information relayed to the county through its Department of Health.

“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 have been closed and everyone, including those who returned negative results, advised to stay home,” he added. He said four of them reside in neighbouring Counties and usually commute to work in the County, one case is a resident of West Pokot County and they are stable and asymptomatic.

He asked other departments to be orderly in the fight against Coronavirus, and notify the health department, citing that the ODPP didn’t communicate to the health department when  they they were undergoing the tests, leaving them in shock. He added that the isolation center situated at Aramaget is already in place with a 300 bed capacity and in two weeks the doctors houses will be complete.

West Pokot County health director Dr. Norbert Abuya added that the health departments in the home Counties of the four cases have been notified for the sake of continuity of care.
He advised residents to be more careful than before and continue observing the health protocols for the prevention and containment o Covid-19. “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,” said Abuya.