NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – Acting Health Director-General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth on Tuesday confirmed 41 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far at Nairobi’s Pumwani Maternity Hospital, among the nineteen medical staff.
Speaking after he led a delegation from the health ministry to assess the facility, Dr Amoth said a dedicated isolation centre for staff had been set up after it emerged frontline health workers, including five working in the operating theater, had tested positive for COVID-19.
“We have agreed that beginning today, we’ll have an isolation centre dedicated to staff of the hospital at the school of nursing for those who may not meet the criteria for home-based isolation,” Dr. Amoth told news reporters after his visit.
Twenty-two of those who had tested positive, Dr Amoth said, work as support staff.
Dr Amoth said the cases were reported after screening samples from 290 staff at the facility in a targeted testing exercise.
He said none of those who tested positive has a pre-existing condition.
The infected workers range from medical officers (2) to clinical officers (2), nurses (14) and laboratory technology assistants (1).
Three nurses stationed at the newborn unit, three a the theater and another at the labour ward are among those on home-based isolation.
The management also confirmed that no baby who has been exposed to COVID-19 while three mothers have been exposed in 2 months.
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Health Director Josephine Kibaru assured members of the public that Pumwani has not closed and wouldn’t close due to the reported cases, but said the facility will scale down services.
“Due to shortage of staff because of the quarantine, we will have other nearest health facilities such as Ngara and Eastleigh assist in offering delivery services,” she said.
According to Ministry of Health, a total of 429 health staff nationwide have been infected with COVID-19, representing 4.2 per cent of the cases reported in the country since March.
On Monday, Dr. Doreen Adisa Lugaliki, the first health worker to succumb to COVID-19, was laid to rest.
Until the time of her death, she worked as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist at The Nairobi South Hospital.