State okays firms to make medical gears
By Peter Theuri | March 31st 2020
Local industries have found a potent niche market amid a catastrophe, after being tasked to produce medical inputs to battle coronavirus.
Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina (pictured) said Kenya’s manufacturing sector will be tasked with providing the necessary inputs to counter immense demand rising by the day.
This is as numbers of confirmed cases in the country continue to rise, even as facilities to test and handle the sick become strained.
“I would like to confirm that within Kenya, there are more than 50 companies that are capable of providing some of these medical inputs. We started obviously with things like sanitisers, and we have seen a large number coming into the market,” she said on Sunday.
The CS noted that Kenya’s textile sector had confirmed it was up to the task to make personal protective equipment including protective clothing such as helmets, goggles and other equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injurious exposures or infection.
She said her ministry was in talks with the motor sector to negotiate the production of ventilators, a task she observed was new to the car manufacturers but which she believes they can thrive in.
“We are confident working with our scientists and our engineers that we can build greater capacity to be able to supply these goods within the country,” noted Ms Maina.
So far, there are 50 confirmed cases, with one patient having recovered and one succumbing to the virus in the past week. Globally there is a shortage of health appliances that are necessary to advance the battle to ward off Covid-19.
According to the World Health Organisation, 80 per cent of people suffering from Covid-19 recover without having to go through hospital treatment. However, one in six persons becomes seriously ill and can develop breathing difficulties.
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