The government has enhanced the diagnostic capabilities for Covid 19 in the country ahead of the mass testing of citizens in the wake of the pandemic.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the testing was scaled up to 600 samples a day but the figure was expected to up after the government acquired a state of the art testing equipment that could simultaneously process the samples in a larger scale
“ this number will be scaled up in the coming days as we widen our coverage because as for now we have commenced the testing of all medical personnel and the exercise will go on throughout the country” he said..
The Cabinet Secretary also informed the nation during his daily briefing on the status of the pandemic that the government had also enhanced the capacity and capability within our health facilities to combat this disease in readiness for any eventuality
He said at least 100,000 healthcare workers have been given COVID-19 related training while another 4000 doctors across the country were enrolled under e-based training on techniques of tackling the pandemic. ”, the CS said
Kagwe said the Kenya power and lighting company was working with respective county governments to fast track the connection of three-phase power lines to designated Covid 19 related facilities to improve supply.
This, he noted will help counties fully utilize medical equipment, to effectively manage COVID-19 patients and enable optimum utilization of existing equipment’s under the Managed Equipment Service (MES) programme.
He said the Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) that were to be distrusted in the country had slowed down due to clearance from KEBS and confirmed that over 10,000 PPES were ready to go.
The Country, he added has also the capacity to produce more than 30,000 per day and thus be able to meet the requirement.
He challenged Kenyans to take advantage of the mobile money transaction mechanism that was recommended to minimize infections and regretted that buyers and sellers had disregard this advice.
He urged Kenyans to minimize handling cash physically and insist on e-transactions whenever possible since the manual exchange could expose them to surfaces that were already contaminated with highly contagious virus.
“I encourage you to transact electronically minimizing handling of cash. Take all measures to avoid exchanging notes and coins as this is for your own good, and the good of the country”, the CS said.
Kagwe further said that the Ministry of Health, together with the Ministry of Environment and other Government agencies had developed and circulated a protocol on COVID-19 waste management to the County Governments for operationalization
For the last 24 hours, Kagwe said that they managed to test 504 samples out which five (5) have tested positive for Coronavirus disease bringing a total of confirmed cases in the country to 189.
The Five, he explained are all Kenyan and only one has a history of travel from UAE and three of the cases are in Mombasa while Nairobi and Nyandarua have one (1) each.
The CS further said that One (1) of the cases came from mandatory quarantine facilities, while the rest- four (4) were picked by surveillance teams.
On a good note , CS Kagwe said that 10 additional individuals will be discharged from Mbagathi COVID-19 Isolation Facility today having tested negative twice for COVID-19 disease.
To date, 22 individuals have recovered from the disease, he said adding that a total of 2,054 contacts have been monitored, 1,481 have been cleared from the follow up program and 573 remain in monitoring program. To date, a total of 6,192 samples have been tested.
Acting Director General, Ministry of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said that following the two deaths that occurred in the last week, the 6 year old and one person from Mombasa explained that the government had learnt of potential loophole in the two cases and has h=now expanded the scope of testing .
“We are also providing psychosocial support to the health care workers that handled the two cases, ensured that the facilities have been disinfected and also placed the health care workers on quarantine in case there was exposure
By Wangari Ndirangu