A post-mortem examination conducted on the body of a 60-year-old woman who died in Lamu county on Tuesday evening has revealed that she succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease.
Lamu County Health department has revealed that the woman had checked into the Lamu King Fahad County hospital seeking treatment for other ailments and died later.
“The lady had other medical issues that forced her to seek treatment at the facility…She was later found to have died of coronavirus,” said Anne Gathoni, the Lamu County Health Executive.
This is the first official Covid-19 death to be reported in the county that has so far confirmed six cases since the outbreak of the virus in the country.
The case has left residents in panic as the county doesn’t have a single intensive care unit (ICU) bed raising concerns over its Covid-19 preparedness.
ICU facilities are key to managing critical Covid-19 cases as many patients in critical state can’t breathe on their own.
“We’ve been going round the various wards at King Fahad Hospital. We’ve also observed the isolation centres and we discovered that they don’t have the machines required to attend to Covid-19 patients. The county government should do something urgently or coronavirus patients will continue to die here,” said Lamu Branch Haki Africa Organization Coordinator Issakia Yunus.
Dr Gathoni says that the county has set aside 30 isolation beds to handle Covid-19 cases in the county.
“We’ve also set aside 30 isolation beds for Covid-19 patients. We will be purchasing more beds if need be but currently the situation is under control. My appeal to members of the public is for them to observe all the directives issued by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of the disease,” said Dr Gathoni.
This comes at a time the ministry of health continues to urge county governments to invest in ICU facilities as hospitals in Nairobi where patients in critical conditions are often airlifted to are likely to be overwhelmed.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday emphasized the need for counties to upgrade their health care.
“There will be no airlifting of people from other counties to Nairobi since it will not have the capacity. Where we are heading is so unpredictable,” said Kagwe.