Panic has gripped health workers in Taita Taveta after a medic died from Covid-19.

The health worker, who worked at the county health department, had underlying medical conditions that worsened his condition leading to his death on Tuesday afternoon.

In the past week, four people have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, according to the health department.

County Health Director Elvis Mwandawiro said the other three people diagnosed with the virus from the Manoa area were treated at the Mwatate isolation centre and discharged after being declared free of the virus.

The health worker died at the Mwatate Sub-County Hospital where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with Covid-19.

He was diagnosed with respiratory failure as one of the effects of the disease and was transferred to the ICU and put on a ventilator.

"We did a CT scan and found that his lungs were damaged and he was having trouble breathing. He had 75 percent lung damage," said Mwandawiro.

The director said although low levels of Covid-19 infections were being reported, this did not mean the country was free of the disease.

He urged residents to be cautious and comply with measures put in place to contain the spread of the disease, amid fears that the country could be facing a new wave of Covid-19.

Covid-19 vaccine

"We are currently stressing the need to get the Covid-19 vaccine and mask up. The virus is still with us, so it is important to take precautions," he said.

Hospitals in the county have reported an increase in the number of people presenting with flu, cough, high fever, sore throat, headache and body aches.

A health worker, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals, said the deceased had complained of a headache and cough a few days ago.

"He said he would seek treatment later in the day, but the next day I heard that he had been taken to Moi County Referral Hospital," he said.

He said the antigen test done at the hospital showed that he was positive for Covid-19.

He said doctors in all facilities in the county had expressed shock and were now taking more precautions against the virus.

"It scared us because we had interacted with him in the office. At the facilities, they are not taking any chances and people are wearing masks again," he said.

This comes as the World Health Organization announced that the global Zika emergency is officially over.

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha also dismissed reports of a new wave of Covid-19 in the country.

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