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Testing for corona virus upped

The  government will enhance with the deployment of new testing and diagnostic capabilities is that can undertake an average of 600 tests a day on Covid 19, Health Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mutahi Kagwe has said.

This number will be scaled up in the coming days, the CS added and also confirmed that the government has commenced the testing of all medical personnel that will go on throughout the country.

“We are continuing to enhance our capacity and capability within our health facilities to combat this disease and to date over 100,000 healthcare workers have been given COVID-19 related training and also over 4000 doctors across the country have benefitted from an e-based training on the same,” the CS said

Kagwe who was giving an update on the country’s situation in handling of Covid 19 said that in order to enhance readiness of the counties they are working with the Kenya Power to fast track connection of 3-phase power to various county facilities.

This, he noted, will help counties fully utilize medical equipment, to effectively manage COVID-19 patients and enable optimum utilization of existing equipment’s under the Managed Equipment Service (MES) programme.

The CS further noted that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that were to be distributed in the country had slowed down due to clearance from KEBS but are now ready saying there are over 10,000 PPES to be distributed.

The Country, he added, has also the capacity to produce more than 30,000 per day and thus be able to meet the requirement.

The CS noted that despite mobile money operators facilitating the ease of doing e-transactions, there was a lot of concern as people continue to disregard this advice.

Kenyans, he urged, should minimize handling physical money in any business transactions since the physical money presents surfaces that can very easily be contaminated with the virus.

“I encourage you to transact electronically minimizing handling of cash. Take all measures to avoid exchanging notes and coins as this is for your own good, and the good of the country,” the CS said.

Kagwe further said that the Ministry of Health, together with the Ministry of Environment and other Government agencies, have developed and circulated a protocol on COVID-19 waste management to the County governments for operationalization.

For the last 24 hours, Kagwe said that they managed to test 504 samples out which five have tested positive for Coronavirus disease bringing a total of confirmed cases in the country to 189.

The Five, he explained are all Kenyan and only one has a history of travel from UAE and three of the cases are in Mombasa while Nairobi and Nyandarua have one each.

The CS further said that one of the cases came from mandatory quarantine facilities, while the rest were picked by surveillance teams.

Kagwe lifted the national spirit when he said that 10 individuals had been discharged from Mbagathi COVID-19 Isolation Facility  on Friday having tested negative twice for COVID-19 disease.

To date, 22 individuals have recovered from the disease, he said adding that a total of 2,054 contacts have been monitored, 1,481 have been cleared from the follow up programme and 573 remain in monitoring programme. To date, a total of 6,192 samples have been tested.

The  Acting Director General, Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth said that following the two deaths that occurred in the last week, the six year old and one person from Mombasa the government had learnt of a potential loophole in the two cases and has now expanded the scope of testing to include all those who are suffering pneumonia.

“We are also providing psychosocial support to the health care workers that handled the two cases, ensured that the facilities have been disinfected and also placed the health care workers on quarantine in case there was exposure.

By  Wangari Ndirangu

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