“Stop Sugar-coating COVID-19 Crisis, Thousands Of Quarantined Kenyans Are Yet To Be Tested” , MP Kiarie Tells State

Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie [Photo/Courtesy]

The number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country could be higher as a huge number of Kenyans, who recently returned into the country, are yet to be tested for the virus, Dagoretti South Member of Parliament John Kiarie has said.

In a series of tweets, the lawmaker said a number of 7000 Kenyans, who travelled home between Wednesday and Sunday, are quarantined in his constituency.

The MP said the Kenyans are quarantined at Lenana School and Kinyanjui Technical Institute.

The number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 38 on Saturday with Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe expected to give another update later in the day.

The disease has already claimed one person, a 66-year-old who died at the Aga Khan Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was suffering from diabetes.

“Kenya currently has an acute shortage of testing kits, so the country cannot adequately test how many of these new arrivals are currently positive! We currently do not know the exact number of positive cases in the country, ” Kiarie said.

Read: COVID-19: Buy Ventilators With Ksh10 Billion BBI Money, Kenyans Tell Uhuru

“CS Mutahi is only communicating what they have tested with the limited testing kits available. There are many, many untested, unreported positive cases out here.”

In the next few weeks, the MP says, Kenya might be confirming excess of 10,000 positive patients.

“How many of these new arrivals will test positive when we finally get kits in two weeks’ time or so, or whenever the kits arrive? Only God knows. Moderate estimates are that by May, Kenya will be reporting in excess of 10,000 positive patients! ” the lawmaker added.

The MP said lack of transparency amid the global health crisis threatens the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

“Kenya Government must forthwith communicate the gravity of the real situation without sugar-coating anymore. Let Kenyans know how bad things are about to get. They will be better equipped to make personal decisions and put up with government decrees, measures and restrictions, ” he added.

Read Also: How Bungoma County Refused To Purchase Ksh123,000 Covid-19 Protective Equipment, Borrowed Ksh7 Million For Awareness Campaign

“Kenya Government MUST now start preparing Isolation Centres around the country. This cannot be left to County Governments who are currently designating a few hospital beds in existing hospitals. Counties have no idea what is coming their way!”

He warned that the fight against COVID-19 should not be left to county governments that lack the means to contain the crisis.

“Kenya National Government must set up massive Isolation Centres around the country; over 4,000-bed isolation centres in Kasarani, Nyayo and City Stadiums in Nairobi. Over 3,000-bed Isolation centres in Mombasa and similar centres countrywide, said Kiarie.

“This CANNOT and MUST not be left to County governments. Again, even they don’t know yet just how hard this thing is about to hit Kenya!”

Read Also: Ugandan Pastor Arrested After Claiming Covid-19 Was Non-existent

Kiarie called on the government to procure more ventilators in preparations for a possible health crisis in the country.

“Kenya Government MUST take stock of available ventilators in the country and then immediately order, buy, beg or steal more from wherever they must!” he said.

“GoK must take stock of all available Gas cylinders within the borders of Kenya; (maybe even ata zile ziko pale kwa garage za chomelea Dagoretti Corner). Then bring on board private manufacturers. There will have to be a way of manufacturing and refilling cylinders with oxygen.”

A medical ventilator is an automatic machine that moves breathable air mechanically into and out of the lungs. The machine helps provide the mechanism of breathing for a patient, who is physically unable to breathe, or effectively breathe on their own.

Read Also: DTB Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness clinically resembling viral pneumonia and manifesting as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The Coronavirus annihilates the breathing system and most patients rely on a ventilator to breathe.

Kenya has only 518 critical care beds to cater for patients with Nairobi county leading with 247 beds. 439 beds are occupied in certain hospitals across the country.

Some counties lack the facility. These include; Kitui, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Marsabit and Migori counties.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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