The number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Makueni is 44 out of 299 samples, Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe has said.
CS Kagwe said out of the 44, four are health workers but the government is committed to ensure the front line workers are protected through provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other essentials.
‘‘Currently 258 health workers have fallen victim to the virus in the country. It is unfortunate that four are from Makueni,’’ he said.
The CS lauded the health workers for risking their lives to offer the critical service of managing Covid 19 patients despite working under difficult conditions and circumstances.
He disclosed that the ministry will continue to hire more health personnel to help in the fight against the pandemic.
“We have hired 252 health workers across all cadres to boost human resource capacity and the process of hiring another 110 is ongoing,” said the CS.
Kagwe hailed Makueni for putting a raft of measures to fight the pandemic especially the home based care recently launched by the Ministry of Health.
The CS however noted that home based care for Covid 19 patients can only be effective if Kenyans take responsibility and observe the guidelines given by the government.
‘‘In Makueni, five patients have been enrolled in the program and are doing well. However, everyone should take responsibility and observe social distancing, wash hands or sanitize, wear masks and avoid social gatherings,’’ he said.
Kagwe urged other counties to emulate Makueni and ensure that they meet the basic requirements of bed capacity and quarantine facilities.
‘‘I’m glad that Makueni has surpassed the 300 bed capacity target and plans to increase. I have been impressed by the level of readiness and preparedness to fight the pandemic in the county,’’ said the CS.
He however called on the devolved unit to remain vigilant now that restrictions on movement in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa have been lifted.
‘‘Makueni is placed number 12 nationally in terms of Covid 19 infections, the number is not modest and it can change now that the containment measures have been removed,” noted Kagwe.
Speaking on Wednesday during a media briefing at the Makueni County Referral Hospital, the CS revealed that 278 people had tested positive for Covid 19 in the country in the last 24 hours out of 3,053 samples taken.
“This brings the total number of case load in the country to 8,528 from a total 196,508 samples taken,’’ said Kagwe.
He however said 89 patients had been discharged from various hospitals while two had succumbed to the virus.
‘‘Our fatality now stands at 169 while the total number of recoveries is 2,593,’’ he added.
CS Kagwe also called for collaboration from stakeholders both in the public and private sector to help fight the pandemic.
‘‘As a ministry we have received tremendous support from individuals, private and public organizations and out of their good will our level of readiness is better,’’ he noted.
The CS was accompanied by Acting Health Director General, Dr. Patrick Amoth, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, Government Spokesperson, Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna and Makueni Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau.
By Roselyne Kavoo and Patrick Nyakundi