Nairobi Metropolitan Services to deny treatment for unvaccinated

Friday, January 7th, 2022 08:15 | By
NMS Director of Health Dr Ouma Oluga. Photo/PD/File

Nairobi County Government employees have been directed to offer in-person services to only fully vaccinated individuals.

Consequently, all non-vaccinated and even those who have received one dose would not be allowed entry into offices, parks, halls and other facilities managed by the county.

On Wednesday evening, the devolved unit reactivated a national government directive of December 22, 2021, barring unvaccinated persons from accessing State and other social services.

Despite an existing court order to stop implementation of the guidelines, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) instructed all sub-county medical and public health officers to ensure the directive is implemented to the letter.

NMS Director of Health Dr Ouma Oluga also instructed the medical and public health officers to work closely with multi-agency teams in their respective sub-counties to enforce the directive. 

“Reference is made to an update on Covid and response measures dated December 22, 2021 from the Ministry of Health on enforcement of guidelines on vaccination against coronavirus,” Oluga said in a letter dated January 5 to all medical and public health officers in the city.

Liquor outlets

Oluga stated that officials from the multi-agency would be deployed to ensure compliance of the directive in national parks and game reserves, hotels, bars and restaurants.

“You are, therefore, required to work with the multi-agency team at your respective sub-counties to enforce and ensure compliance to the protocols in accordance with provisions under the Public Health Act Cap 242. Issuance of Covid-19 permits to eateries and liquor outlets must be done in strict adherence to the new guidelines,” Oluga added.

Recent upsurge of the Omicron variant, which has seen hospital admissions across the country rise to unprecedented levels, is the reason for the reactivation of the guidelines.

“With the upsurge in Covid-19 infections following the onset of Omicron variant, MoH has issued a directive that all persons seeking in-services should be fully vaccinated,” Kagwe had announced in December last year. Even those who are vaccinated but do not possess a relevant proof of vaccination document, will be affected.

The directive comes at a time when a total of 1,226 patients are currently admitted in various health facilities countrywide, while 25,969 are under home-based isolation and care programme. 

New guidelines

Ministry’s latest report on Covid-19 on Wednesday evening showed that 51 patients are fighting for their lives in the Intensive Care Unit while 27 are on ventilatory support. Out of these, 18 are on supplemental oxygen while six are under observation.

“Another 328 patients are on supplemental oxygen and 292 in the general wards. Some 36 patients are in the High Dependency Unit,” the CS said.

After the December 21 deadline for unvaccinated Kenyans not to access public and private services lapsed, the government escalated the measures it announced in November. 

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe barred unvaccinated Kenyans from accessing public services by imposing the same restrictions in social events.

“Proof of vaccination will be required in the following settings: all organised events including weddings, funerals, receptions, organised parties, conferences, sports, trade fairs and workshops,” the CS said.

On the escalated measures, the CS announced that people attending indoor concerts; theatre, dance and symphony events will also be affected by the measures if they are not fully vaccinated, or cannot be able to show proof of vaccination.

Kagwe also said licensed hotels, restaurants and cafes that offer table service - indoor and patio dining - this includes liquor-tasting rooms in wineries, breweries or distilleries must adhere to these measures.

“Pubs, bars and lounges (indoor and patio dining); nightclubs, casinos and movie theatres; game parks and reserves, museums, supermarkets, shopping malls and indoor markets and banking halls,” he added.

Public transport

The Health CS’ arguments are based on the fact that when he issued the directive in November 21 alongside his Tourism counterpart Najib Balala, it was expected that the cases were going to rise.

“At the time we were issuing directives on the need for vaccination, we expected cases to rise.

We were, however, confident that if we had more of our people vaccinated, it would be possible to still manage our situation as many would escape severe disease despite getting infected,” he argued.

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