All health workers to be tested for coronavirus, gov’t to provide accommodation

All health workers to be tested for coronavirus, gov't to provide accommodation
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in a press briefing on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

The government is set to embark on a mass testing for all health workers in the country to ensure they are not exposed to the coronavirus while on the front-line of combating the pandemic.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the testing begins with immediate effect and will encompass all health workers and medical staff including those in private hospitals.

“All health workers and medical staff including those in private hospitals, rapid response teams and all staff in all facilities holding quarantined persons must commence testing with immediate effect,” said Kagwe.

“We must ensure that we do not have medical staff who are treating people while they themselves have the virus and therefore passing the virus to citizens.”

At the same time, Ministry of Health Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth has announced plans to by the government to begin providing accommodation for health workers handling individuals in quarantine to prevent spread of the virus to the family members of the medical staff and the public.

“We have identified suitable accommodation for the health care workers and a team under Kenya Medical Practitioners Dentists Council chaired by Dr. Eva Njenga are working extra hard to get us extra facilities so that healthcare workers who get into contact with these cases don’t go home but to a specific place therefore prevent close contamination with members of the family and public as they move home,” said Dr. Amoth.

The coronavirus cases in Kenya have risen to 172 after 14 more patients were on Tuesday confirmed to have tested positive. The number of recoveries stands at seven while those who have succumbed to COVID-19 were six as of Tuesday, April 7.

Meanwhile, the Health Cabinet Secretary has warned Kenyans to prepare for a possible worst-case scenario in regards with the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

CS Kagwe, speaking during a press address at Afya House, said the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better, adding that the country may continue to battle the pandemic for at least another two months.

Kagwe said Kenyans must continue adhering to the directives laid out by the government adding that there is no reason to be relaxed at all.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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