75 RECOVERIES

State to unveil more ICU beds at KU hospital as 14 die

Nine out of the 14 who died had preexisting medical conditions.

In Summary

• The 500-bed capacity facility will have an additional 60 critical care beds to cater for any eventuality.

• The 14 new deaths now bring to 299 the number of patients who have succumbed to the virus since March.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at a Covid-19 briefing at Afya House
UPDATE: Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at a Covid-19 briefing at Afya House
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The government will in the next two weeks unveil another isolation facility at the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital in a bid to address the congestion in Nairobi.

The 500-bed capacity facility will have an additional 60 critical care beds to cater for any eventuality.

The announcement came as 14 more patients succumbed to the virus, the highest death toll in a day recorded in the country so far.

 
 

According to Health director general Patrick Amoth, nine out of the 14 who died had pre-existing medical conditions. Two had cancers of the bone and the esophagus while one had kidney failure.

“Four did not have any pre-existing conditions and it behoves us especially those of us with comorbid conditions to ensure that we consult with our clinicians and our healthcare providers to ensure optimum management of our conditions such that when you get Covid then it does not put you at a risk of getting a serious form of the disease,” Amoth said.

Amoth, however, ruled out the possibility of using chloroquine in treatment of Covid-19 after the World Health Organization pulled the drugs from solidarity trials on account that it didn’t add value.

The 14 new deaths now bring to 299 the number of patients who have succumbed to the virus since March.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, however, noted that even though the facilities in the city were overstretched, those in counties were still almost empty due to the fact that Nairobi has well-established community transmission of the virus.

Both public and private facilities are overflowing, with ICU facilities being the worst hit.

The Health CS had last month ruled out the possibility of evacuating patients from other counties to Nairobi, adding that by the time that happens, Nairobi will already be full and overstretched.

 
 

“You recall that a while back I was talking about counties not sending people to Nairobi. It is now quite possible that the reverse may actually be the truth; that if Nairobi gets too overwhelmed before the counties it may be possible to do the other way around,” the CS noted.

In addition, counties will be expected to directly acquire PPE for all their healthcare workers in what the CS said was in accordance with the resolutions made during the fifth summit between the national and county governments.

Each county has been given financial support from the national government that is specific to Covid-19 over and above the allocations they get for healthcare, Kagwe said.

“The ministry has gone ahead to provide exemptions to county government from procuring PPE from Kemsa and advised on qualified suppliers for the PPE. Please use these resources for the protection of our people,” the CS said.

Kagwe announced that 606 more people had tested positive for the virus out of a sample of 4,888 tests. This brings the caseload in the country to 18,581 out of 284,500 tests.

The new cases comprised of a four-month-old infant, while the oldest was a patient aged 85.

On a positive note, 75 more patients were discharged from hospital after treatment, bringing the total recoveries to 7,908.

Nairobi county continues to lead in the number of infections after recording 448 new infections, with Embakasi being mapped as a hot spot for the virus.

Kiambu followed with 54 cases with Kajiado coming third with 25 new cases.

Other counties that recorded new cases include Machakos with 16, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru with 11 cases each, Kericho nine, Busia and Mombasa seven cases each, Garissa six, Bomet three, Nyeri, Narok and Nandi two cases each while Embu, Lamu and Murang’a recorded one infection each.

Edited by Henry Makori