The Nyeri County government has set aside Sh.154 million to expand bed-capacity in local health facilities in case of a full brown Covid-19 pandemic.
Area governor, Mutahi Kahiga said the region needs more than 300 beds in addition to the existing ones to cater for Covid-19 cases if more people would be infected.
Kahiga was speaking in Nyeri town Tuesday, when he received a Sh. 0.5 million cheque from Britam Insurance Company as a contribution towards the County’s Covid-19 Fund launched to assist vulnerable groups during this Corona virus crisis.
Kahiga pointed out that the region is not prepared to handle more patients due to limited bed capacity, adding that the Mt. Kenya Hospital isolation centre has 15 beds, six of which are occupied while it has seven ventilators.
The governor disclosed that the region would not conduct mass testing due to shortage of testing kits but instead would conduct the exercise in targeted areas.
At the same time, the Governor denied claims that the county has neglected health care workers who are in the frontline in the fight against Convid-19.
Kahiga was reacting to claims by the Secretary General (SG) of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacist Board, Dr. Gor Goody that many of the medics handling Covid-19 patients lacked protective clothing.
In a press briefing in Nyeri town on Tuesday, Dr. Goody alleged that majority of health care workers in Mt. Kenya region were at risk of contracting Covid-19 due to lack of protective gear while testing patients.
“It is unfortunate that the government is not taking this ailment seriously. They are not providing protective clothing, including N95 masks to us,” Dr. Goody said.
The SG added that this is demonstrated in Nyeri when three health care workers were handling an asymptomatic case and contracted the disease.
He added that a patient was being treated with breathing problems only later for the three workers to realize they had contracted the disease.
“Right now as we talk, most of the patients are shunning the facility since the three who are isolated at the moment treated over 100 patients before they were confirmed as Covid-19 positive,” she said.
Kahiga said it is the responsibility of the health workers to take care of themselves and follow the guidelines laid down for their protection.
“There are clear guidelines on what we are supposed to provide our medics. We have met all of them and there is no cause for worry,” said the governor.
By Mwangi Gaitha