[Davis Ayegah contributed to this article]
NAIROBI, Kenya July 10 – Kenya recorded the first death of a medical doctor to coronavirus on Friday, raising concerns on the safety of healthcare workers in the country.
The death of Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki was announced by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe who asked for a minute of silence during his daily briefing on the virus update.
“I am saddened to announce that today, we have lost the first doctor to COVID-19,” Kagwe said, sending condolences to her family, “I have spoken to the family; her two sisters.”
He said the Doctor, who worked as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist at The Nairobi South Hospital, was admitted to hospital on Monday and succumbed on Thursday.
“It is always painful when a life is lost and even more painful when it is a frontline worker and more so when it comes on the line of duty. On behalf of the government I want to say sorry to all healthcare workers under my ministry and those at the county governments,” said Kagwe.
Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga is among leaders who sent condolences to the Doctor’s family, tweeting, “My deep condolences to family and colleagues of Doreen Adisa who succumbed to COVID-19. Her death is a painful reminder of the sacrifices health workers make so that we may live. Our best tribute to Doreen is to avoid reckless behavior to contain the disease. We owe you Doreen.”
The death comes in the wake of concerns raised by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), which urged the national government to provide healthcare workers with the necessary gear in fighting COVID-19.
By July 8, 257 healthcare workers had tested positive for the virus with CS Kagwe assuring that the government will prioritize their safety.
He assured on the government’s commitment in providing healthcare workers with the Personal Protective Equipment.
Since last week, Kagwe has been visiting various counties, and is in the coastal region this week distributing the kits.
By Friday, Kagwe said Kenya had recorded 9,448 infections and 181 deaths.
Eight of the fatalities occurred since Thursday night, among them the medical doctor.
By july 10, Kenya had tested 206, 584 people.
“With the opening of the country we must acknowledge the number of infections are likely to increase therefore, to keep the number of infection low we must not lower our guard,” he said.