COVID-19: County health workers at risk over few protective kits - Oparanya

All 47 Counties have received only 2,805 PPE kits instead of the proposed 3,500

In Summary

• Oparanya has also urged the Government to immediately equip all Level four and Five facilities to be able to collect and test samples for the virus.

• He noted that currently only two econistic laboratories have been set up countrywide-at Kemri and Nairobi Influenza Laboratories. 

[12:18 pm, 18/03/2020] Oliver: Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya during a press briefing at Delta House, Nairobi on March 18, 2020/ANDREW KASUKU
[12:18 pm, 18/03/2020] Oliver: Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya during a press briefing at Delta House, Nairobi on March 18, 2020/ANDREW KASUKU

Inadequate protective kits in the counties is frustrating the war on the coronavirus pandemic, Council of Governors chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya has said.

All 47 Counties have received 2,805 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits instead of the  proposed 3,500

Oparanya said this poses a serious challenge and vulnerability of health workers.

"We urge the National Government  through Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to take this matter seriously to ensure the  counties acquire enough stock to contain the virus," he said.

Oparanya spoke at a press conference on Wednesday.

He also proposed all counties bordering neighboring countries with  confirmed cases of COVID-19, to be classified among high risk counties for heightened surveillance.

Oparanya has also urged the government to immediately equip all Level 4 and 5 facilities to be able to collect and test samples for the virus.

He noted that currently only two laboratories have been set up countrywide-at Kemri and Nairobi Influenza Laboratories. 

These are the only  institutions where samples from suspected patients can be tested.

"County lab personnel so far  have been trained but not equipped to collect specimen. This in itself is a risk to the country should the disease spread rapidly to many counties at the same time," he said.

 

On budget allocation, Oparanya urged county governments on their part to try to allocate funds where emergency votes have been exhausted.

"This being near end of financial year, counties have no budget in their emergency vote and therefore the National government has to allocate resources to counties this being a national disaster," he said.

Health CS Kagwe announced another three confirmed cases of the virus in the country, bringing the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to seven.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Kagwe said the first two cases related to these three are a couple that travelled from Spain on the March 4 through Dubai arriving in Kenya on March 5.

      The third case is a Burundian national who had travelled from Dubai arriving on March 17.