Kenya Coronavirus Update 21st June: Kenya Marks 100 Days Since its First Case of COVID-19
Kenya today marked 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in the country on March 13, 2020. The disease has since spread to 40 out of the 47 counties including refugee camps. But today the Ministry of Health Kenya Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe assured Kenyans that despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 a lot of work is going on to contain the disease.
“From the failures and challenges we have experienced since the journey began, we are recovering. We started with 8 beds, developed to 100 and 500 more at Kenyatta University Hospital. Now we are cascading to counties,” he noted.
He thanked the counties that have increased their capacity and urged those who haven’t to increase their isolation bed capacity to 300 in the next two weeks according to the President’s directive.
The CS added that within the 100 days the country’s testing capacities have grown and in the coming weeks the government will be bolstered even more.
“In March we started testing with 3,419, samples, out of which 78 were positive, in April we tested 19,108 samples and 328 tested positive, in May we tested 57,527 samples and 1,615 turned out positive while in June 2020, we have so far tested 59,958 and 2,717 have tested positive,” he stressed.
These figures, clearly demonstrate that the number of samples tested has been increasing and with the recent financial allocation by treasury and additional funding from development partners, the country has the capacity to combat COVID – 19 coronavirus by enhancing testing capacity and distribution of free masks and tracing mechanism at border level, he noted.
He also noted that the government has further hired an additional 4,509 healthcare workers to operate the 189 ventilators that the country has nationally.
“Coronavirus will be with us for a long time and that it will, in all probability, eventually stretch our medical systems just as it has done globally and in view of this the Ministry has developed guidelines and protocols supporting the home and community-based isolation, and treatment program that is being implemented,” he added.
The CS revealed that since the home-based care programme began, 338 patients have already been released from the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral & Research Hospital while 212 have been discharged from Coast General Hospital, bringing the total number of patients under home care to 550.
The Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru added that within the 100 days, technology has also increased with most people and families using it.
He, however, noted that some families are straining when it comes to internet cyberspace and noted that the communication authority is working to ensure that young people are protected and parents know how to filter the sites that should not be used by children.
“Within the next 7 days Communication Authority should be giving a clear road map on the training of those using the technology to ensure our cyberspaces are clean,” he said.
The CS noted that technology is here with us and part of everyday life especially for the young people who are working online. ‘we are in the process of training 5000 young people on how to earn through Ajira programme, he said.
He also noted that the Data protection law is now in place and in the next two week he will be recruiting a data commissioner to ensure control of data. We want to protect privacy but also ensure the public safety first, he said.
The acting Director-General, Dr Patrick Amoth, also highlighted that the government will ensure that the patients released for home-based care have suitable space and that there is someone to take care of the coronavirus patients at home.
“Home-based care places a premium on a person on home-based care to be responsible citizens without exposing family and the general public and the government is also linking the home base care to a volunteer health care worker,” he noted.