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Country enters the third month since first case of Corona virus

The Ministry of Health Case Management team on Covid-19 is reviewing guidelines to make it possible for anybody admitted in the hospital facilities to undergo the Covid 19 test as a standard procedure.

The  Ag. Director General Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth on Monday said this will not only ensure protection of the front care workers but also fellow patients admitted and whose immune status could be compromised.

This comes about after a 33 year old male passed on despite his age which falls between ages 30 and 39 that normally has the highest asymptomatic cases.

“In the last 48 hours for the first time we had a 33 year old gentleman who passed on despite this group of people being the highest number in terms of asymptomatic cases we have never had a mortality of someone in that age group,” Dr. Amoth said during the daily briefing on coronavirus at Afya House.

When people of such age group pass on at facility level, the DG continued, they put the health care workers at risk of contracting Covid 19 and of course transmitting the infection to other patients who are in the ward and whose immune status might be compromised therefore putting them at a very likelihood of getting the infection.

Meanwhile, the Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Rashid Aman said that the government’s priority intervention measures for the Corona virus spread at it enters the third month is to limit community spread.

He noted that that Monday was exactly two months since recording of the first positive case, daily lifestyles have completely been altered and destabilized and the country’s economy impacted negatively.

“Recognizing that the virus requires a sound public health response, we will fully support our frontline healthcare workers, in providing technical expertise on case management as they seek to address community spread”, he said.

The CAS added that apart from instituting stiffer measures as part of the interventions against the disease, they have also expanded the national testing capacities from the initial two testing laboratories to sixteen even as the government is in the process of expanding even further.

He lauded the County Governments for also expanding their level of preparedness, to effectively manage the disease at the community level by establishing and equipping isolation and quarantine facilities across the country since this is where the fight against the disease has moved to.

Dr. Rashid has however noted with concern that some Kenyans have resorted to using herbs seeking prevention or cure for COVID-19.

“I want to caution Kenyans that, these herbs have not been empirically verified or approved by the KEBS, KEMRI or the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, for safety and efficacy and those consuming such concoctions should know it can be detrimental to one’s health. I appeal to Kenyans to visit designated health facilities for advice”, he reiterated.

Pertaining to the Covid-19 situation, the CAS said that after testing 841 samples in the previous 24 hours, 28 people have tested positive for coronavirus bringing the country’s total number of those positive people to 700.

The numbers, he added, were distributed in the counties with 10 cases coming from Mombasa, nine from Kajiado, seven from Nairobi and two are from Wajir.

Kajiado’s cases, the CAS explained, are all Kenyan truck drivers who were tested at Namanga border point. Five other individuals from Tanzania, he said, also tested positive and were referred back to Tanzania.

The spread of the positive cases by estates is that in Mombasa, Mvita has three cases, two each from Changamwe, Kisauni and Nyali and one from Likoni.

In Nairobi, the cases are from Kenyatta National Hospital which has three Embakasi East two and one each from Kibra and Pumwani. In Wajir, the cases are in Eldas and Tarbaj.

On the same day the government discharged 12 people from hospital bringing the total number of recoveries from Covid-19 to 251. Meanwhile one patient from Nairobi has succumbed and this now brings to 33 the total number of deaths from the disease.

In order to continue with fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Rashid said that the Government launched a WhatsApp chat BOT facility, which will contain basic information on Covid-19 and urged wananchi to seek information from the said platform.

The WhatsApp number is 0110719719 and will be an embedded with simple self-diagnostic tool to provide information on Covid-19 as requested.

Also Monday, a meeting held with all stakeholders in the hotels and restaurants industry came up with a technical team that will address areas of challenges in the protocols to be followed during this time and has been tasked to submit a way forward within the next one week.

Speaking about the committee, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala said they have established two teams that will report back next Monday morning and one team will discuss how to gradually open the accommodation sector and also how ensure that the high end restaurants are gradually opening without flouting any rules.

“We have all agreed it is the duty of every restaurant and eatery seeking to reopen to access the protocols as published by the Ministry of Health and also agreed that the establishments also develop their standards operational procedures which are compliant to the said MOH protocols,” he said.

Balala explained that as government, they do not want to burden the business community through the protocols but to make sure the spread of the virus to the public is stopped and the economy does not stop.

In order to ease some of the protocols given by the MOH and also support the economy, the CS said that the cost of testing for the businesses has been reduced to Sh 1000 from the normal charges of 4,000 that the businesses were being charged.

“There will also be no charges by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services for inspection of the premises neither will there be any charges for the compliance permit. Once the establishment presents their papers, to counties for their compliance certificates it will take 24 hours for it to be processed so there will be no delay or cost,” Balala said.

By Wangari Ndirangu

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