NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – The COVID-19 pandemic claimed twenty more lives within 24 hours ending on Sunday at the country’s deadliest week that saw four doctors succumb to the disease in one day.
The week saw the nation record 139 deaths with fatalities averaging twenty a day.
The fatalities reported on Sunday pushed the country’s death toll to 1,269.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 972 people had tested positive for COVID-19 raising cases reported since March to 70, 245 cases.
“Our cumulative tests are now 789, 952,” the Cabinet Secretary said while announcing that he had convened a special meeting to discuss the surge in infections and fatalities.
“We shall also deliberate on the issues affecting our health workers countrywide including the supply of personal protective equipment and other enabling measures as they go about combating the virus among our people,” he said.
Already, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has issued a 21-day strike notice vowing to withdraw their members’ services if their grievances are not addressed.
KMPDU accused the government of neglect saying its members on the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus were being exposed due to unavailability of sufficient protective equipment.
“Over the last 8 months KMPDU has continuously engaged all relevant government ministries, parastatals and council of governors, the legislature and followed all relevant channels in employment and labor relations in a bid to address the plight of frontline healthcare workers. The union had put the industrial action off the table but now we have been forced to review our options,” said Chibanzi Mwachonda, the union’s Secretary-General.
The new cases reported on Sunday were detected from 6, 648 samples tested across the country.
Meanwhile, 352 patients recovered from the disease; 253 of them under home-based care, raising the total recoveries to 45,766.
A total of 1,220 patients were reported to be admitted in various health facilities countrywide, while 5,572 were on home-based care.
Kagwe said fifty-nine patients were in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), twenty-six of whom are on ventilatory support, and thirty on supplemental oxygen.
Another ninety-six patients were separately under management on supplementary oxygen out of whom seventy-nine were in the general wars, while seventeen were in the High Dependency Unit (HDU).