CS Kagwe warns Counties to be ready as Covid-19 cases reach 8,250

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Health CS Mutahi Kagwe
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe

A day after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the partial reopening of the nation, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has urged Counties to be prepared for possible increased case loads. Covid-19 cases in Kenya have now reached 8,250, after 183 people tested positive in 24 hours. This is after 2,061 samples were tested, with 193,455 samples tested so far. 90 recoveries have been reported, taking the recoveries tally to 2,504, while 3 people have succumbed to the virus within the past day, with fatalities now at 167. Nairobi County has 100 cases, Machakos 37, Kiambu 14, Mombasa 13, Kajiado 11, Nakuru 5 and Busia 3 cases.

Speaking during the Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday, CS Kagwe said the President’s directive to open access to once restricted areas means every Kenyan has to assume active responsibility and adhere to the Covid-19 directives issued by the Ministry of Health “With the lifting of restrictions, we can no longer look up to the police to enforce adherence of containment measures…It is not realistically possible to deploy a police officer for every Kenyan,” he said. The CS has urged Counties to be ready given that the trend of infections in the Counties in the coming days is still unpredictable, with travel restrictions from virus epicentres lifted.

He said some Counties have done well to prepare, in accordance with the requirements of the national government. “I believe this is a period of great tests for the concept of devolution and we have seen it work very well in some Counties and we have seen near failures in some Counties,” he said. He said it is likely cases will be reported in every County, “Right now nobody can predict which Counties will have a very high load once people start travelling upcountry. It just behooves each one of the CECs for health, County Governors to just take a grip and simply be ready.”

He pointed out that there will be no patients lifted to Nairobi and that there may be no capacity in the coming days since Nairobi may be overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases. He said the hospitals in Nairobi may not necessarily cope even though the facilities and treatment is being enhanced, “That is not to say that we will cope,” he affirmed, urging Kenyans to ensure their County governments are prepared as a result.