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ICU beds and Oxygen demand on rise, CS Kagwe

The government has said that there is an increase in demand for ICU beds and oxygen in the country as a result of increasing covid-19 infections.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Wednesday said that the country is staring at a fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic given the latest rates of infection and called upon counties to ensure there is sufficient oxygen in each county.

“Of importance is ensuring that not only is there oxygen, but it has been properly piped because there has been increase in demand of the two,” he said adding that the country had gone down to less than 100 people needing oxygen but by yesterday the number is over 400 people.

Kagwe who was speaking when receiving donation of an ambulance from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) at Afya House said the government will be setting up a testing centre in Turkana to cater for the Northern region and ensure they don’t suffer inconveniences in the future.

He thanked IGAD and European Union for support and collaboration during this pandemic period both in-kind and in-cash.

“Your support is not just benefiting our country but the region. Indeed, the support to Turkana where the ambulance will be operating from is most welcome as it is a border county serving people not just in the county but those from neighbouring countries as well,” Kagwe said.

The CS noted that Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose immense challenges not only in the region but also globally and thus the collaborative effort to cushion the most vulnerable communities goes a long way in easing the burden of the disease on citizens.

Today, he noted that that the government received an ambulance donated to Turkana County through European Union (EU) funding being an addition to two other ambulances donated to Mandera and Wajir Counties and geared towards improving the health indicators in these Counties.

“As we continue to battle the effects of Covid-19, we look forward to working closely with the IGAD Secretariat to enhance and foster regional collaboration not only to combat COVID-19 Pandemic but also to promote trade and improve livelihoods,” the CS said.

Kagwe assured that the government shall continue to implement necessary and strategic containment measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic noting the country is yet to be where it wants to be.

“Our key priority areas include Access to vaccine, Laboratory systems and Testing capacity, strengthening Disease Surveillance for Covid-19 and priority diseases among others,” the CS said.

By Wangari Ndirangu

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