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Covid-19: 10 more deaths in Kakamega brings toll to 29 in one week

NATIONAL
By Benard Lusigi | June 30th 2021
Kakamega residents line up to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the County Infectious Disease Unit. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

Ten more patients succumbed to Covid-19 on Tuesday, pushing Kakamega County’s death toll to 29 in less than a week.

Philip Kutima, the deputy governor said another 18 patients are in isolation wards.

“Three are in ICU, two on ventilators, seven on high flow oxygen supply and another six are admitted in normal wards,” revealed Prof Kutima when he visited Kakamega County General Hospital yesterday.

The county is among 13 mapped by the national government as Covid-19 red zones in Western Kenya.

The government imposed dusk to dawn curfew in the affected counties following a surge in cases.

Prof Kutima said health facilities in the county are overwhelmed with rising numbers of Covid-19 patients seeking treatment.

“The situation has been made worse by patients from Kisumu, Siaya, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma counties seeking treatment in our hospitals.”

He downplayed reports that patients were being asked to carry oxygen cylinders from home but confirmed that the hospital was experiencing oxygen supply challenges.

“Our oxygen plant does not have the capacity to produce more oxygen but it is not true that the management is demanding that patients bring in oxygen cylinders,” said Prof Kutima.

According to him, the newly procured oxygen plant with a capacity to produce at least 1000 litres per minute will help address supply challenges.

Overstretched

“The machine is already at the port of Mombasa awaiting transportation to our facility,” he said.

Last week, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya revealed that the county was losing at least a patient everyday to Covid-19.

“More people are testing positive for coronavirus and our facilities are overstretched,” the governor told journalists. Yesterday, Prof Kutima confirmed that ICU and isolation wards at the Kakamega County General Hospital were full.

He was at the hospital to commission and hand over a Medical Waste Microwave Equipment which cost Sh25 million.

The County Health Executive Collins Matemba said plans were in top gear to ferry the oxygen plant from Mombasa to KCGH where it will be installed.

“We will manage to address most challenges we are facing in our hospitals immediately we the new oxygen plant is installed,” said Dr Matemba.

“We have a contractor and an engineer on the site who have fixed the oxygen pipes in health facilities in readiness for the new plant.”

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