Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has asked County Governments that are yet to set up the 300-bed capacity in readiness for admission of Covid – 19 patients to do so.
The CS said that it is prudent for Counties to get prepared to handle the situation even as the numbers of coronavirus disease rise across the Country.
“I want to encourage Counties that even as numbers rise in terms of infections the responsibility on the Counties will only get bigger and that is why we are urging the Counties that have not yet reached the threshold that was agreed of 300 beds to try everything they can to do so,” he said.
Wamalwa said the national government has extended the needed financial support that Counties require.
“As the national government, we have supported Counties with the Sh5 billion that was released by President Kenyatta, another Sh 6 billion through the Devolution Support program and Sh 3 billion from the Ministry of Health,” said the Cabinet Secretary adding, “So we want them to do their best to ensure that they prepare well as the number increase and as we move towards the peak of the virus”.
President Uhuru Kenyatta met the County governors on June 25th last month and during that time only 12 counties had met the 300-isolation beds requirement. A report by the Council of Governors says that the counties have 6,898 isolation beds against the prerequisite of 30,500.
Wamalwa was speaking Wednesday at his office in Nairobi during the Signing of Partnership between the National Government, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry alongside the Health Relief International.
He noted that the Partnership covers key areas namely post Covid – 19 recovery measures particularly in the health sector, mechanisms and all related programs in the Counties where the Kenya National chamber of Commerce and Industry has an establishment.
Others are joint promotion of National and International development initiatives on Vision 2030, the big four, EAC regional trade and the African Continental free trade area.
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Richard Ngatia said the organization is working with Counties to support business policy, advocacy, initiatives and enterprise reform efforts.
“KNCCI has entered into agreement with development partners, the National and County governments and Council of Governors to support businesses that have been disrupted during the pandemic,” he said.
Present at the event was Devolution Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli among other officials.
By Wangari Ndirangu