COUNTY SECOND-WORST AFFECTED

Mombasa officials alarmed by rising Covid-19 cases

Virus has now spread to all subcounties as authorities ramp up containment efforts

In Summary

• The county had 52 cases as of Sunday out of the 270 cases confirmed countrywide.

• Nyali subcounty has the highest number of cases.

Authorities in Mombasa have expressed alarm over the rising cases of coronavirus even as mass testing starts.

The county had 52 cases as of Sunday out of the 270 cases confirmed countrywide.

Health executive Hazel Koitaba said they were alarmed by the rising numbers.

 

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi on Sunday said the cases were spread across all subcounties in Mombasa.

But Koitaba said the county had sensitised residents who must now take individual responsibility to stay safe.

“Coronavirus is real. At the end of the day, we all have a responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from the virus through washing our hands, social distancing among other safety measures,” she said.

In the brief by the Health Ministry, Mwangangi said all areas including Bamburi, Beach Road, Mamba Village, Mogadishu, Mkomani-Tamarind, Maweni-Kongowea, Twiga Road and Umoja have reported cases.

Nyali has the highest number of cases.

Most of the reported areas are densely populated, with the county indicating that the virus has spread further in other regions as well.

The county has rolled out mass testing, with thousands of kits sent from the national government.

 

The Kenya Ports Authority is among targeted areas after it was listed as risky following the confirmation of five cases, including two deaths attributed to Covid-19.

KPA has about 7,000 workers.

Governor Hassan Joho last week announced there will be mass testing in the county.

In the larger Coast region, Kilifi initially had the first few cases but their figures are still at nine.

In a report released last week, some of the challenges mentioned included poor coordination between the national task force and county governments, inadequate number of trained health workers on case management and poor response in the event of a large-scale outbreak.

Lack of adequate essential supplies like personal protective equipment, lack of dedicated quarantine/isolation facilities for healthcare workers and suboptimal contact tracing at the county level were also cited.

Joho, while addressing some of the challenges, said at least 25 doctors had been trained by last week.

Apart from the 19-bed isolation unit at the Coast General Hospital, there has been an extension at Lady Grigg maternity wing with a 90-bed expansion, to accommodate more patients, Joho said.

At the Technical University of Mombasa, the whole engineering block, which has a 300-bed capacity, has been set aside for isolation.

The county will start with at least 56 beds.

So far, facilities providing isolation are Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, Mombasa Hospital, Pandya Memorial Hospital and the Aga Khan Hospital which are all in Mvita subcounty.

The Premier Hospital in Nyali subcounty is also providing such services.

Mvita constituency is leading in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Mombasa county, followed by Nyali. 

Mvita included the Mombasa central business district.

Edited by Peter Obuya