President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday commissioned the construction of three new Level 3 hospitals in Nairobi informal settlements but one thing stood out, the crowd! In recent months, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has constantly warned Kenyans against large gatherings since Covid-19 is domiciled in the community.
He even told us that to be safe, you have to assume the person standing next to you is positive. If the pictures shared by the President’s communication team are anything to go by, Kagwe’s warning must have fallen on deaf ears. Good thing, most, if not all, had face masks.
As the President’s motorcade snaked its way through some of the slums, the residents could not help but stand on the roadside in thousands, in complete disregard for social distancing. Kenyans online questioned why that was happening yet places of worship were given strict instructions to allow only 100 people per session.
The selective application of the rules irked many since if at all one person in the crowd had Covid-19, then there is a high likelihood that they infected many others. On Monday, Kenya recorded 492 new infections out of a sample of 4603.
On a more positive note, there were 534 recoveries; 478 from home-based care while 56 were discharged from various hospitals. Sadly, three more patients succumbed to the virus, taking the number of fatalities to 423.
During his tour, President Kenyatta witnessed groundbreaking for the construction of 16-bed capacity hospitals at Muthua in Uthiru and Kianda in Kibra as well as a 24-bed facility at Maendeleo Village in Mukuru kwa Reuben.
The three hospitals are part of 20 such facilities earmarked for various parts of the city and are being developed by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) at an average cost of Sh70 million each. Alongside the new health facilities, NMS is also fast-tracking the sinking of community boreholes to provide free clean drinking water and upgrading of access roads to bitumen standard.
Speaking to thousands of residents who turned out to welcome him, the President said the projects are part of a grand plan to transform the outlook of the city especially its informal settlements. He asked Kenyans to ignore disruptive and empty political rhetoric saying the Government's focus is to improve the living standards of Nairobi residents.
The President urged Kenyans to continue protecting themselves from Coronavirus by following the established health protocols.