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HOSPITAL TURNED INTO QUARANTINE FACILITY

Ministry alarmed after four die of Covid-19 at Shalom

Machakos county authorities say victims died between June 11 and 22, hospital sealed off

In Summary

 

The Machakos county government said contact tracing had been enhanced after the first death was reported, resulting into the quarantining of 26 patients within the hospital.

Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi
Image: FILE

 

The Health ministry on Saturday expressed concern over rising cases of Covid-19 caused by cross infections within health facilities.

The alarm came after four people died from the disease at the Shalom Hospital in Athi River, Machakos county.

Three more patients tested positive alongside a hospital worker.

Speaking during the daily Covid-19 briefing at Afya House, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said all county governments must ensure they have dedicated healthcare facilities to handle coronavirus cases.

“This is a matter the ministry is taking seriously, and I want to appeal to all hospitals, public or private, to be extremely careful, and put in place measures that reduce the slightest possibility of cross infection,” Mwangangi said.

The Athi River deaths occurred between June 11 and 22 according to a statement by the county government.

The Machakos county government said contact tracing had been enhanced after the first death was reported, resulting into the quarantining of 26 patients within the hospital.

Nineteen healthcare workers were also put under quarantine in their respective homes.

“We noted that despite the ward being a quarantine facility, the hospital has continued to admit more patients,” Machakos Health executive Ancent Kituku said.

“It has also been noted that the staff interacted with suspected Covid-19 cases without proper personal protective equipment.”

Kituku said the facility had flouted public health protocols, and guidelines had been flouted hence exposing most of the healthcare workers and patients at the hospital to the virus.

The hospital has since been sealed off after consultations between the Kenyan Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council, the county government of Machakos and the Director General of Health.

The hospital will now act as a quarantine facility until the process of screening and testing for Covid-19 is complete.

That means no one is allowed in or to leave the hospital until the process is completed.

“We have a team on the ground but I will be able to give an updated report by midday. We have sent teams there, we want the samples taken and I will be able to give an update,” KMPDC CEO Daniel Yumbya told the Star on the phone on Saturday.

Yumbya said the testing is to ensure the safety of health workers and patients who are still receiving treatment at the facility is not compromised.

The council has further directed that health workers are allowed into the facility to relieve those who were on duty since Friday.

This is to ensure the patients are not affected by the current situation.

 

Edited by P.O