The invisible enemy COVID – 19 has managed to penetrate the literally impermeable Kenya’s defence.
80 soldiers have reportedly tested positive to the fast – spreading virus forcing authorities to place all military barracks across the country under restrictions of movements.
It started with 3 military officers at the Embakasi barracks testing positive to COVID – 19.
Sources intimate that the confirmation of the cases sent shivers down the spines of high ranking military men in the Kenya Defence Forces.
KDF moved with speed to ensure the virus does not spread like bush fire among the Kenyan soldiers.
A good number of officers were moved to Kahawa barracks along Thika superhighway as a containment measure.
And then doors to one of Kenya’s most secure area were shut, No entry and No exit except for special cases.
No one has since been going in or out of the facility and even soldiers who were on leave were shut out and ordered to remain at home and those residing outside the barracks ordered to move back into the barracks.
Sources however say the virus had already taken position inside the Embakasi barracks.
Initially an isolation centre had been placed at Embakasi barracks for those who turned positive but as numbers grew, it was moved to Kabete barracks which was made the treatment centre for all KDF staff.
Mafans has established that soldiers in isolation have hit 80.
One officer reportedly died and was buried at his home in Olenguruone in Nakuru county.
Another barracks under strict surveillance with limited access is Kahawa Garrison, a big military facility surrounded by a huge population of civilians.
According to sources, the barracks was placed on partial lockdown as a precautionary measure the moment Kenya started registering huge numbers of COVID – 19 patients.
The fear is many soldiers spent a good chunk of their time outside camp mingling with civilians.
Some have homes at the neighbouring Kahawa Wendani, Kahawa Sukari, Githurai 45 and 45 estates interacting freely with people in the estates and markets.
KDF has so far put in place protocols that seeks to curtail the spread of the highly contagious virus among officers in the barracks.
Military parades have been scrapped, trainings have been put on hold, officers have been barred from leaving the facility and are only being allowed to purchase food and other stuffs from the military canteens.
Other containment measures instituted by the authorities to contain spread of the virus include provision of sanitization points across all KDF establishments, conducting mass testing, establishing quarantine areas, conducting routine temperature checks, distribution n of face masks, sensitizing soldiers and the KDF family on the do’s and don’ts during this pandemic as well as, facilitating movement for essential tasks or compassionate cases.