Medics turn away people with coronavirus symptoms

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 11:00 | By

Harrison Kivisu and Sophie Njoka

Medical personnel in Kilifi and Mombasa are now sending away patients with symptoms similar to those of Covid-19 cases.

The medics say they are ill-prepared to deal with the virus because of lack of basic necessities and adequate training.

In Mombasa, a woman who had presented herself at the Mvita Health Centre with symptoms similar to those of Covid-19 was allegedly turned away by medics who told her they had no capacity to handle her case.

This is despite the facility together with Tudor Sub-county Hospital having been designated as an isolation centre for patients with the virus.

Health facilities in Mombasa are also anticipating a surge in number of patients after closure of hospitals in Kilifi.

On Monday, Kilifi county discharged all patients except for those who are critically ill.

Yesterday, the Kilifi county ordered all medical staff on annual or study leave to report back to work in anticipation of a crisis occasioned by the high number of people who are feared to have come into contact with deputy governor Gideon Saburi who has tested positive for the virus.

County secretary Mkare Jefwa directed doctors, nurses and other medical officers to report to work latest by March 29 until such time that the virus is contained in the county.

Summary dismissal

“Disciplinary sanctions which may include summary dismissal will be taken against those who will not have valid reasons without further reference to yourself,” he said in a notice sent to all the medical staff yesterday.

However, fear among health personnel who came into contact with some of the patients who have confirmed positive for coronavirus is rising.

The medics have protested over slow response to have themselves tested for the virus after they claimed to have been exposed.

A medical doctor who claim to have come into contact with one of the people who has tested positive for the virus at a private laboratory raised alarm yesterday that health professionals could be exposed to infection because of slow response from the Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19 in counties.

Dr Salim Mohamed Ahmed said yesterday, 24-hours after raising alarm, the Mombasa County Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19 that he had come into contact with a suspected case, health officials had not reached him.

Mohamed claimed that a patient he attended to at his private clinic in Nyali had tested positive for the virus at Lancet Laboratories but despite reporting the matter to Kilifi medical officers, no one has come to take his blood samples or isolate the patient to a government facility.

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