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NMS begin contact tracing as Covid-19 cases soar in city

The Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) has begun contact tracing for individuals who may have come into contact with Covid-19 positive people, as numbers of confirmed cases continue to soar in the capital.

NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi said that the move was part of a raft of measures that the new office has put in place in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the capital.

This comes at a time when Nairobi is accounting for almost half of the positive cases in the country with 560 cases out of the 1, 161 cases countrywide as of Friday.

Already, Eastleigh area in Nairobi has been under partial lockdown since the first week of this month, a move that has been extended to June 6, 2020.

Kibera has also been fingered by the Ministry of Health as a growing concern in terms of infections from coronavirus.

To reverse the worrying trend, the DG pointed out that his administration has also deployed health workers at all border points to identify and isolate any suspected Covid-19 cases as part of management and containment programme.

This is in addition to dedicating Ngara Health Centre and South B Clinic for testing of truck drivers and all hotel workers within Nairobi as well as mapping out all communities in the county putting in place 2, 400 handwash stations, complete with liquid soap and sanitisers.

“Nairobi has recorded the highest number of infections but I wish to assure Kenyans and Nairobians in particular, that NMS being part of a multi-agency response team on Covid-19 management and containment programs, we shall endeavour to reverse this trend,” said Mr Badi.

The Major General further said that together with the Health Ministry, they have rolled out targeted mass testing in various sub-counties in Nairobi as well as free mass testing which began on May 20, 2020, and is set to run until the end of the month with a target of 1, 000 tests daily.

He stated that Mbagathi Hospital and Kenyatta National Hospital have been dedicated for treatment of Covid-19 infected persons with 55 staff deployed to man the 58 quarantine facilities which were handed over to the new office by the Health Ministry.

“We continue to receive and quarantine the second wave of returnees. And we will seek partnerships to ensure those who are sick continue to receive services,” he said.

At the same time, the NMS boss said that they began a community household registration exercise on April 30, 2020, to map out all households that need maternity care, child care, emergency medical treatment and chronic diseases.

“In partnership with Shofco, we are giving free Uber/Bolt rides to pregnant mothers during this Covid-19 period,” added Maj Gen Badi.