The North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) Governors have raised concerns over the lack of sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and testing kits in their respective Counties hence impeding efforts in the war against Covid-19.
Led by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago the Governors said hospitals across the country do not have the capacity to rapidly test Coronavirus due to a severe shortage of testing kits.
He said delays in testing and relaying results also made it more difficult for doctors to deliver the most appropriate care to patients who’ve tested positive.
Addressing journalists after touring Kapenguria County Referral Hospital, Mandago who is also the Bloc chairperson asked the government to provide kits and swabs or ensure hospitals are well supplied.
“The government should obtain a range of supplies and offer equipment to hospitals to help fight Covid-19. We are ready for mass testing and we have money to buy the test kits but they are not available in the market,” he said.
He cautioned those who are hoarding testing kits and PPEs, waiting for the demand to increase and prices to skyrocket.
He said Uasin Gishu has recorded over ten cases and he urged Kenyans to minimize movements. “Australia minimized movements and managed to flatten the curve. The virus is carried by people, without movement the virus will not be transmitted, so let’s combine efforts to flatten the curve,” he said.
He said as NOREB Governors, they are preparing to commence mass testing, but the challenge they face is availability of testing kits.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok said 53 contacts associated to the case in Turkana County have been traced and placed under quarantine.
He urged counties to intensify checks at entry points on the borders and he commended the West Pokot government for erecting road blocks along the highway, a sign that they are committed to fight the virus.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said he will work with other NOREB Counties to fight the pandemic as a team.
“We have toured the hospital where we have 21 isolation beds for Corona virus patients. We encourage our people to continue wearing masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands regularly with clean water and soap,” said Lonyangapuo. The NOREB Counties include Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Baringo, Nandi, Samburu and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties.