Hospitals overwhelmed as cases of critical COVID-19 patients surge


Hospitals overwhelmed as cases of critical COVID-19 patients surge
FILE PHOTO | A nurse demonstrates how to activate a respirator as the hospital prepares for the coronavirus disease outbreak in Nairobi on April 6, 2020. PHOTO | REUTERS | BAZ RATNER

Kenya is becoming a red country, health experts continue to warn, as the country battles rising contagion numbers of the third wave.

Also Read: Doctors who have succumbed to COVID-19 in Kenya

In just 24 hours, 747 people have tested positive from 5145 samples bringing the cumulative cases to 120,910, with the test positivity rate at 14.5%.

Similarly, 17 deaths have been recorded, 7 having occurred in the last 48 hours while 10 are late death reports from facility record audits that have occurred on diverse dates , bringing Kenya’s cumulative fatalities to 2011.

889 patients have been admitted in various health facilities countrywide while 2545 patients are on home based isolation and care.

121 patients are in the ICU: 32 of whom are on ventilatory support and 86 on supplemental oxygen.

Another 59 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen with 41 in the general wards. 18 are in the high dependency unit.

With the third wave, according to Dr. Ahmed Kalebi, “ having officially surpassed the 1st wave and continuing to escalate rapidly and with intensification of community spread extending outside Nairobi, which means the 3rd wave may peak higher than the 2nd wave with deadly consequences .alarm bells should be ringing.”

He further adds “ Dear Nairobians, this is the very worst time to get COVID-19. if you fall seriously ill in need of a hospital bed with oxygen or an 1ICU bed, you won’t find any in the city, hospitals are overwhelmed. So please take extra precautions to keep yourself safe from contracting the virus.”

Machakos Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua also tweeted, “ The ICU’s in Machakos county are full with both Machakos and other county COVID-19 patients. Currently there are no ICU beds available in Kenya. if you see someone not wearing a mask, question their intention. Your life is yours, not corporate.”

Dr. Thuranira Kaugiria also weighed in in the conversation “ If Kenyans narrated the horror stories on what they have gone through trying to secure an ICU bed for their COVID- 19 relatives in the last 2 weeks, we would all reform. I am just heart broken. Too painful. We need to overcome COVID-19…what happened to our ambitious plan of 300 beds per county ?Sad state of healthcare.”

Beyond Nairobi, the counties’ preparedness to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalization and deaths is a point of concern.

According to the Secretariat National Isolation and Quarantine facilities, with regard to the current status of COVID-19 isolation and ICU beds, there are 353 health facilities,827 ICU beds and 20,910 isolation beds.

In spite of the vicious nature of the third wave, for many Kenyans , life continues to pulse as normal.

At the A.I.C Nakurtakwei church in Eldama Ravine, Baringo, the church service was held without observing all the guidelines laid down by the Interfaith Council and the Ministry of Health.

it’s a similar situation at the ACK Christ Church in Kaloleni, Voi, where the church space is too small to accommodate all the worshipers and still observe the containment measures.

“Kwa vile watoto wamefunga na wako nyumbani na ku-control population inaweza kuwa challenge we may need to create more services, Japheth Mwashigadi, the ACK pastor told Citizen Digital.

The clergy insists that the church is not the weakest link in the fight against COVID-19, but the lack of personal and individual discipline.

others have called for more stringent guidelines.

Jackson Ole Sapit, the Archbishop ACK church says: “ We are in a generation that everything is online and the future is online and therefore visibility online in inevitable and the church should extend her mission there,”

“No food should be served at funerals, because when you eat you’ll remove your mask, when speaking to the microphone you also don’t remove your mask you won’t be audible but we are insisting so that our places of worship become safe,” Anthony Muheria, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri says

Experts are calling for more risk messaging and enforcement, particularly in the counties , with a high population of the elderly and whose hospitals are more likely to be overwhelmed and have a limited capacity for intensive care and high dependency treatment.

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Story By Dorcas Wangira
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