Hospitals in Nakuru overwhelmed by Covid-19 infections

Governor Lee Kinyanjui. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Nakuru County government is under immense pressure to deal with the rising number of Covid-19 patients.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui Saturday revealed that all Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in the county are occupied adding that they have been forced to transfer patients out of Nakuru.

“Nakuru County Health Department has been under immense pressure due to the number of people who have turned positive and in need of medical attention. All ICU beds in the county are full and in the last three to four days, we have had to transfer patients out of Nakuru,” Governor Kinyanjui stated in his statement.

Governor Kinyanjui expressed concern with the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the County.

Data from the county indicate that there are 24 ICU beds both in public and private hospitals and 44 ventilators.

He noted that some patients who turned positive exhibited different symptoms than the usual high temperature, among others, hence the need for increased public awareness.

With the reported new variant, the governor called on the government to have better-equipped testing kits that will assist in identifying the exact variant one has contracted.

“The different variants have different characteristics and therefore it is important for the National Government and other players to have better-equipped testing kits to help identify the exact variant a patient has contracted to enable proper treatment,” he said.

Governor Kinyanjui called on the National Government to give a rescue package to the five counties under lockdown. The state, he added, needs to consider areas it can partner with the counties to ensure people do not suffer because of unavailability or inadequate facilities for provisions that could have otherwise been dealt with if there were better planning.

As a county, he said they are working to increase the number of ICU beds by 50 percent in the coming weeks and hire more qualified staff.

“We are also working to expand oxygen supply to public and private hospitals. We, therefore, appeal to the National Government through the Ministry of Health for more support to make sure oxygen is available in public and private health facilities,” he said.

Nakuru is among five counties that were put under lockdown following the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases. Other counties include Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, and Kiambu.

Even with the lockdown, the governor said the movement of people is still high within the zone adding this could be the reason the number of infections is still high.

“In the next seven days we will seek a review of the measures to see if they are working and if there is a need to introduce country-specific interventions,” he added.

On April 2, the county recorded 148 new cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in the county to 7,026.

"Three people died in the last 24 hours bringing the total deaths attributed to the Covid-19 virus in the county to 179 with a case fatality rate of 2.5 percent. 89 patients are on supplemental oxygen," said County Health Executive Dr Gichuki Kariuki.

He added that 137 people had been admitted to various hospitals, 27 of them at Nakuru Level Five, 10 in Naivasha, 14 in Langalanga, 20 at Nakuru Specialist Hospital, and 13 at Nakuru Nursing Home.

15 others are admitted at Nairobi Women's Hospital, nine at Valley Hospital, 7 at War Memorial Hospital, 5 at Nakuru Annex, two at Evans Hospital, and 15 at Bondeni isolation centre.