The government yesterday left Kenyans in suspense about its latest measures to combat coronavirus even as nine more people tested positive.
This now raises the number of those infected to 59.
The silence by the government is amid claims that a clinical officer tested positive for the virus. The clinical officers’ union has claimed there has not been enough training or provision of personal protective equipment to health workers.
There are also queries on bed capacity, especially in Intensive Care Unit, and oxygen supply, key in combating the disease.
Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi, who gave the briefing yesterday, said more health workers are to be employed during this crisis.
“We are in the process of hiring 1,000 more health workers to boost our capacity,” she said during the daily press briefing as Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna insisted that "all questions will be answered tomorrow" (today).
The 1,000 are in line with a directive from the Executive, which also ordered Sh1 billion to be transferred from the Universal Health Coverage kitty to aid in the recruitment.
Dr Mwangangi said the nine who tested positive are among a sample of 234 tested between Monday and Tuesday. However, there was no breakdown if the nine are among those under mandatory self-quarantine in government facilities or were walk in cases in hospitals to signify community spread.
On Monday, Ministry of Health Director General Patrick Amoth said Kenya was staring at 10,000 positive cases by end of April if no interventions will be made by the government.
All these will be through community spread, meaning the virus is no longer imported and is now being transmitted by locals, who have no travel history or have not been in contact with someone who has been overseas recently.
Mwangangi said government agencies are following up 1,160 contacts of previous patients who tested positive. Some 508 have, however, been discharged from the follow-up programme after completing the 14-day quarantine period.
Mwangangi said apart from Mbagathi Hospital, which has an isolation capacity of 120 beds, the government was equipping Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, which has a capacity of 300 beds.