A Caucasian male who had been quarantined at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu after showing symptoms of the coronavirus has tested negative.
The result came as a relief for the county and Kenya, whose confirmed cases of the Covid-19 disease now stand at seven.
The patient jetted into the country 20 days ago from the United Kingdom.
He presented himself to the hospital on March 17 with flu-like symptoms including fever, a cough and breathing difficulties days later.
He was immediately quarantined and samples taken and sent to the National Public Health Laboratories (Influenza Laboratory) for tests. He stabilised later.
The test on samples from the 70-year-old man was carried out in Nairobi County and the result sent to Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.
In his announcement of the result, Prof Nyong’o said: “I am happy to report that the tests were negative for the coronavirus. We thank God for this development.”
Meanwhile, Kisumu has heightened disease surveillance and strengthened the referral system, equipping it with ambulances and specially trained personnel to handle any eventuality.
In addition to isolation centres, Governor Nyong’o said they were setting up wards in Kombewa, Ahero, Muhoroni, Nyakach, Chulaimbo, Nyahera and Katito hospitals, with a total bed capacity of 35.
He said a psychological support and trauma management centre was established at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and training and capacity building for all community health workers started.
A County Incident Command Centre has also been established at the Department of Health offices at Prosperity House.
The county has also provided hand washing facilities including water and soap as well as hand sanitisers in all public places, to be managed by the Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company (Kiwasco) and the city manager.
The governor also announced 11 precautionary measures which include a passenger manifest in Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) to help trace individuals who may have tested positive for coronavirus.
The measures were put in place by the County Emergency Response Committee after a meeting following the suspected case.
The governor asked operators of public service vehicles to have a list of all passengers at any given time.
“PSVs have to introduce passenger manifests indicating points of boarding and destination to help with contact tracing,” he told a press briefing, flanked by Kisumu County Commissioner Susan Waweru, Speaker Elisha Oraro, County Health executive Judith Attyang, City Manager Doris Ombara and City Management Board Chairman Elijah Adul.
Boda-boda operators were ordered to carry just one passenger at a time and have hand sanitisers.
The governor also banned all market days and open-air markets across the county.
Nightclubs and bars were closed and seminars, church meetings and other social gatherings suspended.
Kisumu has also taken steps to ensure the safety of residents around Lake Victoria who were evacuated following flooding.
Communities living along the shores of the lake have been affected since January, with close to 60 families displaced and pitching camp at the Ngong’ evacuation centre in Sango Buru, West Nyakach Ward.
The victims had called for medical camps, mobile toilets, safe drinking water, relief food, tents, security and sanitary pads.
Field officers from the Special Programmes and Disaster Management Department undertook a humanitarian and needs assessment tour of the Ngong’ centre.
“We distributed food items to the victims and will follow up on the necessities as assessed,” Special Programmes director Ruth Odinga said.
She said the people were also educated on measures to prevent the disease.