More health workers to be hired as ministry considers boarding schools as isolation centres
31 March, 2020
Health CS, Hon. Mutahi Kagwe today announced 9 more people have tested positive for Corona virus from 234 samples analyzed in the past 24 hours bringing the number of cases in Kenya to 59.
Tracing of close contacts of the 59 confirmed cases is on-going. So far, the total number of close contacts that the ministry has so far been monitoring stands at 1668. Out of this number, 508 have been discharged from contact follow up process after completing the 14 days follow up period. Currently 1160 close contacts of confirmed cases are being monitored.
He also mentioned 3 key areas that touch on the ministry’s level of preparedness.
He mentioned that earlier this month they had launched Mbagathi Hospital as the main isolation centre for patients who test positive for the virus with the hospital having a capacity of 120 beds.
In addition to that, the ministry have acquired Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) which has a capacity of 300 beds which they are currently equipping with some of the beds being isolated for ICU.
Boarding schools countrywide are also being explored for usage in case the situation worsens and the ministry has requested the County Governments to help in identifying specific boarding schools which may be suitable.
Hangars and fields are also being considered with the expectation they can offer an additional 300,o00 bed capacity.
County Governments have also been directed by Executive Order by the President to utilize Level 4 and Level 5 hospitals for purposes of the Covid-19 cases. 37 County Governments have complied with the remaining in the process of complying.
The health CS mentioned that the country currently does not have enough healthcare workers in the facilities and in lieu of that the ministry is in the process of hiring 1000 health workers to boost their capacity.
Personal Protective Equipment
Following the worldwide outbreak of the disease, the Health CS said that there has been a global shortage of the PPE’s.
The Government has however resolved to get the same from local manufactures. They are in the process of engaging the EPZ to manufacture face masks and suits to be distributed countrywide while also looking at manufacturing protective suits for the health care workers.
At the moment, the country has 2 national testing centres, namely the National Influenza Centre and the KEMRI laboratories. These 2 have a capacity of testing up to 660 samples in a day.