Why Nyoro wants Covid-19 mass testing in Thika’s Kiandutu slums

By KNA On Sun, 3 May, 2020 19:02 | < 1 min read
James Nyoro
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro (left) distributing foodstuff to Kiandutu slum dwellers in Thika town Saturday May 2, 2020. PHOTO | KNA

Kiambu County plans to kick-start mass testing for Covid-19 at Thika’s densely populated Kiandutu slums from next week, Governor James Nyoro has said.

Nyoro said he had initiated talks with the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to have the exercise conducted in the area, since it is a high-risk informal settlement.

Speaking during a food donation exercise for 500 slum residents in the area on Saturday, May 2, the governor said they expect a response from the Health Ministry this week for the exercise to commence.

He said the area being densely populated area makes it difficult for residents to follow the social distancing rule putting them at risk of contracting the virus.

The slum is home to over 20,000 residents.

The county has five Covid-19 cases that were drawn from a residential house in Ruaka, causing panic and fear among the county dwellers.

“Most slum dwellers are potential victims as a number don’t wear face masks or keep social distance. We need to start testing for the virus to know the extent of infections,” said the governor.

He said the county government will also give out free masks to the residents during the mass testing exercise.

Hundreds of residents camped outside the Kiandutu Social Hall where the governor was addressing the beneficiaries, hoping to get a share of the rations, but they were forced to go home empty-handed.

The residents were casting the county administration, saying that they should have brought several trucks of food items since each family is needy.

However, Nyoro told the crowd that he had come for a monitoring exercise and that food distribution to all families would begin on Thursday next week.

He said they would use chiefs and their assistants to distribute the food donations to the slum dwellers.

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