MANDERA, Kenya Apr 24 – The Mandera County Government has distributed 5000 pieces of face masks and 4000 alcohol-based hand sanitisers to the public as it heightened fight against coronavirus.
The County Executive Committee member for Health, Dr Mahamud Adan led county officials in issuing the masks and sanitizers to the business community, taxi operators and workers involved in the cleaning of roads and garbage collection.
“Ours is a targeted approach to help our people prevent coronavirus. This is just the beginning of the distribution of masks and sanitisers as we expect to roll it out across all sub-counties. As a county, we are determined to help our people most of whom live below the poverty line,” Dr Adan said.
Kenya had recorded 336 positive cases and 14 deaths by April 24.
The Governor Ali-Roba administration has also donated hand-washing equipment to various institutions.
Mandera is regarded as a hotspot for COVID-19 due to its porous borders with war-torn Somalia and Ethiopia.
The vast border county has been put under lockdown with the national government banning vehicles and flight movements into and out of the region since Thursday.
The county has eight coronavirus patients while four people in Mandera East, six (Mandera South), nine (Mandera North) and two in Wargudud who had contacts with some of patients have been quarantined.
Dr Adan urged Mandera residents to maintain social distancing, avoid crowded places, maintain hygiene and heed Ministry of Health directive to prevent Coronavirus.
The residents, led by Mohamed Isaack Hassan thanked the county government for the donations.
Governor Roba has appealed for more support in availing more test kits and logistics to facilitate the timely testing of more people.
His administration has implemented some incentives for the team of medical personnel assigned to deal with COVID-19.
The special team of health workers are being accommodated in a hotel specifically hired to support them to protect their families from getting inadvertently infected with the disease.
“We have also implemented special allowance for the selected health personnel for the period of this pandemic,” Roba said.
Although the county had availed enough protective equipment for its health personnel, Roba said more equipment would be required from the COVID-19 coordinating teams in Nairobi as the cases increased.
The county government has 78 beds for the handling of Coronavirus patients. The Mandera Accident and Emergency Centre has seven ICU beds, two HDU beds and 34 general beds. The Elwak Accident and Emergency Centre has four ICU beds, two HDU beds and 29 general beds.
The Mandera government also plans to distribute relief rations to vulnerable families.