Nairobi Metropolitan Service tests residents for Covid-19

Residents of Eastleigh queue to be tested during a mass testing exercise for Covid-19 in Nairobi on May 20, 2020. At least 3,000 Nairobi residents have turned out for the ongoing free Covid-19 mass testing. PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | AFP

At least 3,000 Nairobi residents have turned out for the ongoing free Covid-19 mass testing. The testing is being spearheaded by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS).

The 11-day free mass testing was launched on Wednesday last week and already, 3,144 people have been tested in five days.

NMS Chief Health Officer Ouma Oluga said the turnout has been very impressive and that they are planning to scale up the tests to aim at more than 1,000 residents daily.

He stated that 703 people were tested in Eastleigh on Wednesday with another 427 tested in Dagoretti and Embakasi East.


On Friday in Embakasi East’s Utawala, some 1,002 residents were tested while 427 were tested in Embakasi West and on Sunday, a total of 585 residents were tested in Starehe Sub-County.

Dr Oluga said the testing is aimed at mapping out hotspots in Nairobi, where more effort in terms of public health measures is supposed to be directed to, as well as mopping out cases to stop community transmission by isolating positive cases.

“We are concentrating on informal settlements because they are difficult to manage [in terms of] access to water, proper sanitation, physical distancing and restrictions on movement as this is one of the best ways of preventing more transmissions,” said Dr Oluga.

He pointed out that initially, people were getting their results after 48 hours but now it is taking slightly more time because of the huge number of tests and the fact that other places in the country are also bringing their samples to Nairobi for testing.


“We do not announce the results at the county level. All the results are consolidated in a national laboratory registry office and it is only the Ministry of Health that announces,” he said.

Testing in Westlands will target people from Kangemi, Sodom, Bottom Line, Deep Sea City Park and City Park market.

Tuesday will see residents of Lang’ata and Kibera sub-tested at Undugu and Kamkunji grounds respectively.

On Wednesday, the testing will be in Kasarani Sub-County targeting communities around Santon and Hunters. Testing centres will be set up at Murema Primary School.


On the same day, residents of Githurai 44 and 45 in Roysambu Constituency will be tested at Githurai Primary School.

On Thursday, the community around Mathare 1, 2 and 3, and Naivas area in Ruaraka Constituency will be tested at Kwa DCC. Another team will also be in Lang’ata at Kwa Chief.

On Friday, the testing will be in Mathare Sub-County with Huruma, Kariobangi North and Korogocho residents being targeted. Another team will also head back to Westlands at Cheleta Primary School to test the community around Githogoro and Mji Wa Huruma.

On the penultimate day of the testing, residents of Bahati, Civil Servants, Makongeni, Jana Villa, and Jogoo Road in Makadara Constituency will be tested at Heshima Road Primary School with another team pitching camp at Muthurwa Primary School in Kamukunji Sub-County to test the community around Shauri Moyo, Majengo, Jua Kali, Burma, Gikomba and Muthurwa.

The testing will end on May 31 in Kamukunji at Maina Wanjigi Secondary School.


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