VIRUS WAR

MTRH conducts 400 virus tests, governors decry resource gaps

Priority is given to persons meeting the case definition for Covid-19.

In Summary

• The hospital can carry out 960 tests within every eight hours.

• Dr Aruasa said the few tests done so far cannot help to tell the spread of the coronavirus in the region.

Governors from the North Rift region led by Jackson Mandago (centre) during a meeting at the Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret on May 2.
UNITED: Governors from the North Rift region led by Jackson Mandago (centre) during a meeting at the Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret on May 2.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

More than 400 coronavirus tests have been done at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. 

Hospital CEO Dr Wilson Aruasa said the tests were for suspected cases from the Western Kenya region. 

“Testing patients from the whole region as well as the high-risk groups gives us a clear picture of the prevalence of the disease,” Dr Aruasa said.

 

He said the priority for testing is given to persons meeting the case definition for Covid-19 from MTRH and hospitals in 22 counties in the region. 

Patients going for surgery, frontline health workers, security staff and truck drivers are the next in level of priority.  The MTRH can carry out 960 tests every eight hours.

In a testing capacity boost, the Trans Nzoia County Referral Hospital has been approved by the Ministry of Health to carry out the coronavirus tests.  It is the second testing centre in the region after MTRH.

Meanwhile, governors in the North Rift region have expressed concern over the worsening shortage of resources to intensify the war against the virus.

During a virtual meeting, they cited a shortage of PPEs for sample collection, swabs, transport media and test kits. 

North Rift Economic Bloc chairman Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu said they would form a committee to help follow up on resources from the ministry. 

The governors raised concern that the country's borders remained porous despite the partial lockdowns on some of the hotspot counties.

 
 

  “Covid-19 is, therefore, being imported into the rest of the country from the hotspot areas,” Mandago said.

The governors want police to intensify inspection along the highways so that truck drivers do not carry unauthorised passengers sneaking from hotspots.  

The governors opposed calls for the government to relax measures to control Covid-19 and allow the reopening of business to help revive the economy.

Mandago said it is too early to re-open the economy when the spread of the Covid-19 appears to be worsening.

The governors said they want only essential services to continue but under more strict conditions to avoid the spread of the virus by truck drivers and other officials allowed to travel.  

Mandago has warned residents of the region who are still engaging in illicit brews that they will be arrested and quarantined.

(edited by o. owino)