The government has broadened the sampling and testing of Covid 19 virus in the country after more reagents were received to upscale the exercise.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in his address to the nation on the status of the pandemic said the testing kits will improve the capacity of the health officials cover the targeted segment before the country embarks on mass testing of Kenyans.
“The Ministry of Health has received more testing reagents that will facilitate the scaling up of our testing capacity; starting with targeted areas and eventually to the wider Kenyan population” he said.
President Uhuru said as the nation marks one month and three days since the first confirmed case of the pandemic was recorded, at least 53 people have recovered from the deadly disease that has claimed tens of thousands across the world in a span of three months.
He cautioned Kenyans to be wary by observing laid protocols to avoid infections from the highly contagious disease adding that nine more people tested positive to Covid 19 further pushing the national tally to 234.
President Uhuru informed the nation that out of the 704 samples tested in the last 24 hours, the nine cases were detected warning that the disease was spreading unabated to all quarters of imaginable societal clusters.
‘None of these people set out to be infected, we can all be infected if we are not extremely careful. Coronavirus does not respect age, status, ethnicity or race: we have even seen leaders of countries get infected and had to seek serious medical attention’, he stressed.
He insisted that stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease must be upheld at all cost especially after the country lost 11 people to the pandemic and that nearly 1000 people were still in quarantine, while another 156 were held in isolation facilities.
The President took the opportunity to commend local institutions and industries for rising to the occasion by embarking on production of the much needed Covid 19 protective gears and other medical accessories and equipment at a time when demand for such products was overstretched in the global market.
He cited the Kenyatta University who developed a prototype of an inexpensive ventilator for use in local hospitals and Kitui County Textile Company and the National Youth Service for large scale production of face-masks.
Others were Shona EPZ Limited and Bedi Investments Limited in Nakuru who are manufacturing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for medical workers on the frontline.
The Head of State also directed that relief supplies for vulnerable groups be distributed in a responsive manner, through the recently established Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund together with the relevant security agencies.
In the Counties, the President told Governors to jointly work with County Commissioners to mitigate emerging challenges the pandemic portends at the devolved units
‘ We have agreed with Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, that Governors will work with County Commissioners in every County to ensure that support to our vulnerable fellow Kenyans is delivered seamlessly’’, President Uhuru said .
He said contributions towards the Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund had almost realized One Billion Kenya Shillings after Kenyans and other corporate organizations responded positively on short notice.
In order for Counties to prepare and respond to this pandemic, President Uhuru said that County Governments receive a 3-month waiver from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) requirements for the purchase of masks and PPEs to protect citizens and healthcare workers from infection.
.By Wangari Ndirangu