Six counties are emerging as Covid-19 hotspots as the Health ministry raises the alarm over massive spread of the virus outside Nairobi.
“The virus is now domiciled across the length and breadth of our republic — from down south in Kilifi to Mandera in the north. And from the west in Vihiga to Kitui in the east,” Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi warned on Tuesday.
By Tuesday, a number of residents in 21 counties had tested positive for the virus that has infected more than 1.9 million people and claimed over 121,700 lives globally.
The patients are spread in the counties of Nairobi (101), Mombasa (34), Kilifi (10), Kiambu (7), Mandera (6), Machakos (6) and Nakuru (5).
Kitui, Kajiado, Laikipia, Kakamega, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Siaya and Uasin Gishu have two cases each while Kisii, Homa Bay, Nyamira, Nyeri and Kwale have one case each.
But it is the number of infections in Mandera, Kiambu, Machakos, Kilifi and Mombasa that is worrying the national committee combating the disease.
Of particular concern is Mandera, which was not among the 14 counties identified as coronavirus high-risk areas.
While it trails Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Kilifi, a look at the situation on the ground reveals a sorry state of affairs that is likely to fuel infections.
A portent mix of lawlessness, ignorance, defiance, cultural and religious beliefs and practices are likely to propel the county that borders Somalia to the east and Ethiopia to the north onto the list of the most affected regions.
Yesterday, the county government revealed that 32 people — who had travelled from Nairobi last week — disappeared from a quarantine facility in Elwak under unclear circumstances.
A bus driver who ferried them in a Makkah bus was not charged as expected and no one seems bothered.