As Kenya continues to record a spike in the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, the government is in the process of procuring at least 100,000 body bags in preparation for the worst-case scenario, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
This comes at a time Covid-19 deaths continue to rise sharply with the government projecting even more deaths in the coming months as Kenya heads to its peak.
The Ministry of Health has already placed the order with the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), a state corporation responsible for procuring medical supplies.
In its specifications, the Mutahi Kagwe-led ministry stated that the bags must be made from heavy-duty Vinyl Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic bag.
The adult size bag measuring 40 by 90 inches of 0.4 millimetres thickness, must have an envelope zipper and should be preferably white in colour.
KEMSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jonah Manjari Mwangi told Sunday Nation that the agency is waiting for approval from the ministry before starting the process of procuring the bags.
“We are waiting for the authority to incur expenditure. Once we have the permission from the Ministry, then we shall procure the bags, ” the CEO said.
A recent projection by scientists revealed that at least 620,500 people will succumb to Covid-19 in the country by February if sufficient measures are not taken and the virus hits its peak.
In the worst-case scenario, it’s estimated that about two million people will be asymptomatic and about 356,000 others moderately affected by the respiratory disease.
Over 100,000 people will need specialized care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
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With the surge being witnessed in the country, some counties have already set aside land for mass graves.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who is also the Chair of the Council of Governors (CoG), has already identified two parcels of land to be used as mass graves for those who may succumb to Covid-19.
The governor said the country was expecting a surge in positive cases in September, and expressed fear that many might die.
“The Ministry of Health predicted a spike in Covid-19 cases to be in September. Going by what has happened in other countries, we have identified two parcels for mass graves in Kakamega town and in the southern part of the county in case we experience many deaths arising from the virus,” Oparanya said recently.
Oparanya’s Kisii and Siaya counterparts have also reportedly identified large swathes of land to accommodate possible graves yards.
Other counties including Laikipia have stocked body bags in preparation for the worst.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman said in a past press briefing that Kenya is expected to experience its peak in August or September.
As of Saturday, the country had confirmed 16,643 cases, 278 deaths and 7,574 recoveries.