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Kenya to launch largest oxygen plant in East and Central Africa by June

Health & Science

Oxygen cylinders at the Siaya County Referral Hospital's medical oxygen manufacturing plant. [File, Standard]

Kenya will set up the largest hospital-based oxygen generating plant in East and Central Africa to upscale its capacity in the fight against Covid-19.

The National Emergency Response Committee met on Tuesday and resolved to support counties to upscale their oxygen supply.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said the ministry is exploring avenues for the production of bulk liquid oxygen.

He said the Health ministry is supporting the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to establish the plant which will produce 2,000 litres of oxygen per minute.

The plant will be ready for commissioning by June and will support the region in achieving its oxygen requirements.

Kagwe added that the Health ministry, in collaboration with development partners, is supporting 86 facilities in 30 counties to set up oxygen sources for selected facilities.

"We note that the USAid has committed to supporting five counties in this regard."

Kagwe's comments come on the backdrop of counties fighting harder to reduce the infection rate.

With the country's positivity rate at 9.8 per cent in the last 24 hours, Nairobi county continues to lead in the number of infections.

Nairobi has continued to record the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases but at the same time, the county with the highest number of persons vaccinated against coronavirus.

Kagwe said as of today [Wednesday], 853,081 persons have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 disease countrywide.

Of these, 494,278 are aged 58 years and above, health workers 155,294, teachers 131,905 and security officers 71,604.

As of Monday, 1,099,000 doses had been distributed to the regional depots countrywide, leaving a balance of 21,000 doses at the Kitengela Central Vaccines stores.

Nairobi is leading with the number of vaccinated persons at 261,581, followed by Nakuru 56,712, Kiambu 45,364, Uasin Gishu 40,739 and Nyeri 33,233.

Counties with the lowest vaccination numbers are Garissa 2,016, Isiolo 1,452, Tana River 737, Lamu 661 and Marsabit 599.

As 834 tested positive in Kenya in the last 24 hours, Nairobi was leading with 246 of the positive cases, followed by Kericho 98, Trans Nzoia 33 and Nandi 30, among others.

CS Kagwe said the national government is strengthening the Covid response in counties through finances to hospitals to build their capacity to respond.

"So far, monetary support amounting to Sh28.8 billion has been disbursed since last year," he said.

Kagwe went on, "In addition, there has been continued in-kind support in terms of PPEs, hospital equipment, healthcare workers' training that have been provided through the collaboration of our partners in collaboration with the Health ministry."

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