By Kirera Mwiti
The scare of the coronavirus outbreak in China is palpable among Kenyans, and even those outside the capital city seem afraid.
This was evidenced by an incident in Naivasha where diners took to their heels after a man of Asian descent entered the hotel they were eating at.
Diners fled from the hotel that is near Kamere Estate just as the ‘Chinese’ looking man ordered food at the restaurant locals say is popular with foreigners.
More drama was to unfold after officers arrived at the hotel only to find that the foreigner had also left and the owners of the facility did not have his details.
Following the incident, Nakuru department of health activated its disease surveillance team with the training set for the end of this week.
According to the Nakuru Health Chief Officer Samuel King’ori, they were not taking chances since the outbreak was reported in China.
King’ori expressed concern that hoteliers were not keeping records indicating the origin of their visitors, thus making it hard to monitor visitors.
“Our officers had been informed of an ailing foreigner but on arriving in the hotel he had already left and no one had is personal details,” he said.
King’ori said that the county would become the first to train its workers in disease surveillance in the country.
“We shall conduct a three-day training workshop for select health workers in the country in the wake of the outbreak in China,” he said.
An eyewitness, Joel Wahome, said that since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease that has claimed hundreds in China, area residents have been wary of visitors.
He said that there were tens of Chinese nationals working in various projects in the area, including geothermal drilling and SGR.
“The foreigner was definitely sick and due to fear of the coronavirus, people fled from the hotel before he also left,” he said.
And in Suswa, residents have called on the Ministry of Health to investigate the behavior of some Chinese nationals working on the railway project.
A resident, James Ole Oluturi, alleged that some ailing Chinese foreigners had been locked in one of the rooms in their camping site for the last couple of weeks.
“We have spotted around three sick Chinese nationals locked in one of the rooms in section six and we are asking the necessary government to investigate this incident,” he said.