CoG raises concerns over increasing COVID-19 cases in counties outside disease infected zones

CoG raises concerns over increasing COVID-19 cases in counties outside disease infected zones
Kisumu Governor and CoG Health Committee Chairperson Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o during a past press address. PHOTO / FILE

The Council of Governors (CoG) Health Committee has raised concern over the increase in community transmission in counties outside the mapped disease zone area consisting of five counties.

According to Kisumu Governor and the committee Chairperson Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, the scenario will greatly affect the country’s agenda of flattening the curve.

This comes as the government clarified that the ongoing curfew in the country will be enforced until May 27, 2020.

It is almost three weeks since President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a new raft of measures in a bid to combat the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country to the point of restricting movement into and out of five counties, now identified as a disease infected area.

Despite that, however, the Council of Governors’ Health Committee is raising an issue of concern.

“We note that community transmissions have started increasing, and other counties out of the zoned area are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections, including Kisumu,” said Prof. Nyong’o.

The positivity rate in the first week of the president’s announcement has been 18.1 per cent.

The week after, between the dates of March 2-8, the positivity rate dropped to an average of 16.6 per cent. This week the positivity rate stands at an average of 13.9%.

According to data by the Ministry of Health, Wednesday’s positivity rate stands at 13% after 981 people were infected with the virus, with the counties of Nairobi, Bungoma, Turkana, Kiambu and Kisumu registering a high number of infections compared to other counties.

“As county governments, we will strive to ensure strict adherence to the protocols by all counties especially those outside the zoned area,” added Prof. Nyong’o.

And with only 1,623 patients being admitted in various hospitals around the country, 269 of them being in the intensive care unit, Prof. Nyong’o said the availability of beds in ICU and HDU wards is not of concern.

According to the CoG, there are 390 ICU beds and 156 HDU beds in the country in totality.

Moreover, county governments say the delay in disbursement of funds is interfering with their mandate of serving the people especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as no county has received their share for the months of February and March which include Ksh.26 billion and Ksh.25 billion respectively.

And as the counties await the Treasury to fast-track the disbursement as well as a communication from the Ministry of Health on the way forward regarding the availability of vaccines, the government through a gazette notice has clarified that the ongoing curfew in the country will last 60 days.

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Story By Raquel Muigai
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