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Health CS calls on Kenyans to be cautious of corona variant

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called on Kenyans to be cautious of the corona virus variant that is defying vaccines.

Speaking at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital on Friday, the CS said there have been reported cases of people contracting the virus, despite having received two doses of vaccines.

“We have heard cases of people in the United Kingdom contracting the virus and yet they have been vaccinated. One or two similar cases have been reported in our country,” said Mr Kagwe.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe issues Personal Protective Equipment to Meru County Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu. Photo by Dickson Mwiti

He added that the government would however continue with its programme of ensuring vaccines were available for Kenyans, as this would reduce the severity of the virus in case one contracts it.

He called on Kenyans to continue observing regulations set by the Ministry of Health to reduce contracting the virus, which has continued to claim people’s lives.

“We are not out of the woods yet considering that the infection rate in the country stands at 8.1 per cent, way above the five per cent recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO),” Kagwe said.

During the visit, the CS launched a Sh35 million oxygen plant established by the county government and congratulated the leadership for the achievement in this vital project especially during Covid-19 pandemic.

He said oxygen is not only important to Covid-19 patients but also in all Intensive Care Units (ICUs) as it deals with respiratory issues that come in many forms.

The project was installed to retire the old plant and is able to produce 480 litres of oxygen per minute.

It can also refill eight oxygen cylinders every two hours translating to 96 litres in 24 hours.

Mutahi further added that the plant will enable the county to supply oxygen to the isolation facility and to all sub-county facilities in Meru.

“Oxygen has been a critical component in the fight against Covid-19 and the Ministry has formed an Oxygen Committee whose mandate is to focus on mobilization and allocation of resources to cover oxygen gaps in various counties,” he said.

The CS thanked county governments that had made a step in ensuring sufficient oxygen supply in their hospitals and urged the rest to follow suit.

“Through the support of the World Bank, the Ministry has secured almost 2 million litres of liquid oxygen through KEMSA which is accessible to counties with liquid oxygen tanks.

A decision has been made to avail oxygen supply through cylinders in emergency, this oxygen supply support targets almost 317 hospitals across the 47 counties,” said Mr Kagwe.

By Dickson Mwiti and Brendah Gakii

 

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