Government urged to increase capacity for testing Covid-19 in devolved units

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Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga (Left) emphasises a point after meeting AMREF Country Director (Health) Dr Meshack Ndirangu in his office. Kahiga disclosed that the three health care workers who had tested Convid-19 positive have now turned negative giving a lot of hope to the county.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has urged the national government to increase the testing capacity for Covid-19 and to strive to get results rapidly to curb spread of the disease.

  Kahiga noted that testing and getting results promptly was the only way to stop spread of Covid-19 in the counties.

  He was speaking yesterday in Nyeri town when he received AMREF country director (Health) Dr Meshack Ndirangu in his office.

  The Governor at the same time disclosed that the original two cases from the county that had turned positive have now tested negative twice as well as the three health care workers who had tested positive. The county has so far recorded ten cases.

  “The original two who had turned positive have now turned negative twice and even our three medical workers have turned negative and this gives us hope that testing positive is not a death sentence,” Kahiga said.

  He urged people not to stigmatise anybody recovering from the disease adding that he was aware of a case where people have tested positive and later turned out negative but the community did not receive them.

  “We want to tell the communities that testing positive does not mean a death sentence. You can test positive and after isolation for a couple of days natural healing comes and you return to the community without any fear of contaminating others,” the Governor said.

  Kahiga said that Nyeri County has heightened preparedness in anticipation of increased Covid-19 cases in the region as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

  He disclosed that the county has set aside 350 beds in three isolation centres namely Mt Kenya hospital (40), Nyeri KMTC (180) and Mukurwe-ini level three hospital (130).

  He added that though Othaya level Six Hospital is not in their focus, it has a capacity of  close to 100 beds if need arose for the utilisation of the facility.

  Kahiga further said that the county has 19 ventilators and six beds in ICU adding that the county has received Sh 125 million covid-19 boost from the national government and had raised its health budget to Sh 2.8 billion in this financial year.

  On the opening of the country, Kahiga said it should be gradual noting that it has proved difficult for adults to maintain social distancing and wondered what would happen to pupils.

    “Children are very difficult to manage. If we allow them in schools without testing them, their teachers not tested, that is a recipe for disaster,” the Governor posed.

    He maintained that schools should remain closed to allow time and opportunity to know whether to open senior institutions like colleges and universities.