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Alarm as Covid-19 patients throng intensive care units

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Alarm as Covid-19 patients throng intensive care units by Kenyans247(1): Mon 26, October, 2020 01:09pm
What you need to know:
The Health ministry said 1,167 other patients were admitted to various hospitals and 3,464 were on home-based care.
Some 455 patients recovered from the disease, 343 from home-based care programme. The total recoveries are 33, 876.
Currently, there are 55,000 inmates with about 500 children accompanying their mothers against the recommended 30,000 inmates. This means there are 25,000 extra prisoners.
kenyans247
Twenty-two Covid-19 patients were last evening fighting for their lives under intensive care at various hospitals across the country, with 62 on supplementary oxygen and 16 in high dependency units.

The Health ministry said 1,167 other patients were admitted to various hospitals and 3,464 were on home-based care.

The infections trend continued to rise, falling just short of 1,000 yesterday. The country recorded 947 new cases (924 Kenyans and 23 foreigners) from a sample size of 6,862, bringing the total caseload to 48,790. Kenya also recorded 12 deaths, bringing the total fatality to 896.

The new cases are distributed in 35 counties, with Uasin Gishu leading with 181 cases followed by Nairobi with 154 cases, Nakuru (146) and Kakamega (46). Mombasa and Kisumu reported 37 cases each while Kiambu and Kericho had 30 cases each.


Some 455 patients recovered from the disease, 343 from home-based care programme. The total recoveries are 33, 876.

Meanwhile, fears have gripped prison communities across the country, as the number of infections in the institutions rises, amid audit queries over the expenditure of Covid-19 funds.

The Senate Health Committee says it will summon Correctional Services PS Zeinab Hussein to shed light on the expenditure and implementation of protocols in prisons.

This is after Commissioner General of Prisons Wycliffe Ogalo, who appeared before the committee on Friday, failed to respond to their questions effectively.

Covid-19 money
“When it comes to funding, I might not be the right person to answer the questions. I am in charge of operations,” Mr Ogalo told MPs.

A source told the Sunday Nation the committee has decided to summon Ms Hussein, who is the accounting officer and in charge of the Covid-19 money.

The Sunday Nation has also established the prisons were given Sh200 million in Covid-19 funds, but a source said only a few tents were purchased.

The source said all the 60 quarantine centres within the prisons were built by partners – the Kenya Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The centres have a bed capacity of 2,100 but the occupancy currently stands at 2,900.

Uniformed frontline healthcare workers deployed to prisons to take care of Covid-19 patients have not been paid their risk allowances, eight months down the line, despite a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta in March.

There are at least 280 healthcare workers in prisons, including five doctors, 55 clinical officers, 70 nurses, 40 laboratory technicians, 20 pharmaceutical technicians, 25 public health officers, 15 nutritionists and more than 50 in other cadres.

The workers are contemplating a strike as other healthcare workers attached to the counties have been paid.

Additional Sh20 million
Attempts to reach the PS were futile as she neither answered our calls nor replied to text messages.


Counties received Sh2.3 billion for the health workers. They also received an additional Sh20 million for psychological support to the healthcare staff.

State corporations that received part of the money included Kenyatta National Hospital (Sh157 million), Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (Sh107 million), Kenyatta Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (Sh12 million) and Kenya Medical Research Institute (Sh8 million).

The ministry has also allocated Sh500 million for medical insurance for 22 counties that are not covered in any medical scheme.

When before the committee, Mr Ogalo said because of the high numbers in prisons, it was not possible to practise social distancing. However, he said, they have come up with protocols to keep the virus at bay.

“Initially, there were no cases in prison, but because we were allowing visitors in the prisons, we started registering cases. We have since stopped visits. New inmates must go for 14 days quarantine before they mix with the rest of the inmates,” he said.

Currently, there are 55,000 inmates with about 500 children accompanying their mothers against the recommended 30,000 inmates. This means there are 25,000 extra prisoners.

“As the other entities continue to do their job and offenders are taken to court, we will still register more numbers unless the system is changed,” said Mr Ogalo.

He told the committee that at least three inmates have succumbed to the virus while 1,700 others have been infected. About 710 inmates are on treatment while 1,000 have since recovered.

The Sunday Nation has also learnt that with the huge population, the sanitation in most of the prisons is wanting as some of them share plates. This could fuel the spread of the virus in case of asymptomatic cases in the crowd.

For instance, at the remand prisons with more than 2,443 prisoners, there are only 500 feeding pans, the inmates are eating in shifts while at Embu prison, there are 1,230 inmates and 150 plates.

They have ordered 1,000 more, which are yet to be delivered.


aoketch@ke.nationmedia.com ioruko@ke.nationmedia.com

https://nation.africa/kenya/news/alarm-as-covid-19-patients-throng-intensive-care-units-2721476

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