NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has warned public officials against stealing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), following an incident at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, JKIA.
The incident involved an attempted grand theft of of PPEs donated by the Chinese government through the Kenyan embassy in Beijing, that were sent to Nairobi, only for fraudsters to hatch a plot to clear them despite having been sent on a government to government arrangement.
Kagwe said police are already handling the matter, assuring that anyone found culpable will face the law.
“It is true that we experienced an incident of persons wanting to steal PPE’s. These are thieves and I will assume that the law is going to take its course, and they are going to be arrested,” he said Sunday, on a tour of Othaya Level Six Hospital in Nyeri.
Kagwe has assured that Kenya has sufficient PPEs to protect health workers.
“We have enough PPEs and we can even export them because we are now producing them locally,” he said.
He spoke even as the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union, KMPDU warned that medics are at risk of contracting the virus.
Already, the union said, 81 health workers have contracted the virus, with 60 per cent of them linked to their workplaces.
“We urge the two levels of government to avail sufficient PPEs to the healthcare workers so as to protect them,” said Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda, the acting Secretary-General of the union.
By June 14, positive cases in the country had risen to 3,594 Sunday, with 103 deaths.
“As a country, we have reached a state where it is critical in observing set down regulations,” Kagwe said, “I have said before that you should view the person next to you as positive now I say if you find someone without a mask please run away.”
Kagwe insisted on the need to observe precautionary measures, so that the disease does not spread further.
The new cases were from 3,167 samples taken across the country.
“Just assume the person standing next to you is COVID-19 positive,” the CS said while urging Kenyans to continue using sanitizers and masks and more so while in a public space.
The national government has already disbursed Sh5 billion to be spent by the counties in equipping hospitals, with an initial target of at least 300 isolation beds as the country gears up for the peak of the infections.