State in rush to boost capacity as virus infections reach 59

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 00:00 | By
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi addresses the press at Afya House in the past press conference. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has now gone up to 59 after nine more people tested positive yesterday.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr Mercy Mwangangi said during the daily briefing yesterday more than 234 cases had been tested in the last 24 hours.

The number of confirmed cases has been on an upward trajectory considering since the first case was reported on March 13, the country has been reporting at least three cases daily.

Health Director General Patrick Amoth said on Monday that the government had put its projection to 10,000 by the end of this month.

Mwangangi said 1,160 people likely to have had contact with those who have tested positive were being monitored, while 509 others have been discharged after testing negative. Another 1,668 people were being monitored.

On preparedness, the CAS said Kenyatta University Referral and Teaching Hospital has added the bed capacity with 300. Kenya has 120 beds available in Nairobi.

Mwangangi said the ministry was engaging county governments to identify boarding schools, which can help supplement health facilities in event the number of cases spirals out of control.

She also revealed that the process of hiring 1,000 health workers to boost capacity was ongoing and would likely end in the next few days.

Identify institutions

“We are exploring the usage of our boarding schools countrywide in the event the situation worsens. We have engaged county governments to identify specific boarding schools, which will be able to assist in boosting our capacity,” she said.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said over the weekend that apart from boarding secondary schools, airport hangars and other institutions could be used as isolation centres in the event of a crisis in the country’s health facilities in managing coronavirus.

By Sunday, the country had recorded 42 positive cases while nearly 1,000 people who came into close contact with confirmed cases remained in isolation.

The National Emergency Response Committee (Nerc), according to the CS, is working with counties and the private sector to identify local institutions that can be used as isolation centers. 

Kagwe urged business and religious communities to also think ahead in case the health facilities are overstretched.

More on News