Kiambu better prepared for Covid-19, says Governor Nyoro

By Oliver Musembi
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
In summary

Despite rising Covid-19 cases, Kiambu County is no longer in a panic over the threat by the pandemic to overrun health facilities, Governor James Nyoro has said.

The governor said Kiambu which has recently emerged as a hotspot of new Covid-19 cases after Nairobi, is now better prepared to handle new infections after putting up the requisite facilities.

“A few weeks ago when the figures began to surge, we were in a sort of a panic that our facilities would be over-stretched as our isolation bed capacity was still low. But now the county is better prepared to deal with the prevailing situation after installing over 1,000 beds and expanding health facilities,” Nyoro said.

He was speaking while commissioning a new 150-bed capacity isolation center at the Ruiru level 4 hospital. The Sh 63 million facility to be built using prefabricated technology is expected to be complete in a month and will cater for the many Covid-19 cases being reported in the densely populated Ruiru sub-county.

Noting that by the end of September the county health facilities will have a bed capacity of at least 1,200, Nyoro said his government is also in the process of hiring 120 critical care givers including nurses and clinical officers.

Another level 4 health facility, he added, will be put up in Juja sub-county following the drafting of a memorandum of partnership between his government and Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) which is also expected to take over management of the Gatundu hospital.

Nyoro who was accompanied by area MP Simon King’ara, nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura and several MCAs said his government was partnering with industrialists and businessmen to construct a multi-storey building at the Ruiru hospital.

“There was a time when as a county government we were deeply worried that the increasing Covid-19 cases would overrun our institutions but that is now behind us,” said Nyoro.

He added that the Ruiru center will be built using part of the county’s Sh 185 million allocation from the exchequer's Sh 5 billion disbursed to all the counties recently. Already Sh 30 million has been allocated for acquisition of drugs, beds and other hospital equipment.

When other counties were rushing to procure ventilators, he said, his government invested in bulk oxygen tanks which were connected to patients' beds and this paid off as the sick began recovering and getting discharged.

He also said the local business community will help in putting up a six storey tower hospital to cater for patients post-Covid period.

By Wednesday, Kiambu still had the second highest number of new Covid-19 infections having recorded 69 after Nairobi which led with 349 new cases over a 24-hour period.