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Counties told not to shut Covid-19 isolation centres

Reproductive Health - By Mercy Kahenda

The Ministry of Health has warned counties against shutting down Covid-19 isolation centres.

Acting Health Director-General Patrick Amoth said despite low numbers being recorded, the curve is yet to flatten.

Dr Amoth said the closure of any isolation centre should be done in consultation with the ministry.

“Covid-19 pandemic is still on until it is declared over. Closure of centres would be premature, and might put us in awkward situation in case of a surge,” he said.

The acting Health Director-General said the ministry is monitoring cases as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) pandemic guidelines.

Dr Amoth noted that failing to admit patients in the centres does not translate to low infections of the virus across the country.

“You can have one patient now and report ten tomorrow, what shall happen? So long as the pandemic is still on, all Covid-19 centres should remain open,” he added.

This came after it emerged that some counties were quietly closing Covid-19 isolation centres that were set up to manage symptomatic Covid-19 patients.

Last week, Nakuru county government closed Langalanga Health Centre and Bondeni Maternity wing that were set aside as isolation centres.

County health executive Kariuki Gichuki said the number of infections requiring admissions at the facilities had significantly reduced.

Langalanga Health Centre had 40 Covid-19 patients and the last one was discharged last week, while Bondeni Maternity did not admit any patient.

The health official said despite closing the centres, the county is prepared to handle any surge. “A technical decision to close the centres was based on current data. We however have plans for any eventuality including third wave,” said Dr Gicuki.

Data released by Ministry of Health shows that Nakuru County recorded eight Covid-19 cases on September 16, 29 cases on September 12 and 9 on September 10.

According to county records there are eight admissions, with six at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, one in Naivasha and one at a private facility. “Cases might be low, but we ask residents to continue observing set measures to avert contamination and contracting the virus,” said Gichuki.

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