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A public health official conducts public awareness in Nairobi's Mukuru kwa Njenga slum/FILE/MOH

Corona Virus

Senators express concern over COVID-19 readiness in Nyanza counties

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 8 – Senators in the Health Committee have challenged the governors from the counties in Nyanza region to step up their COVID-19 response mechanisms following a surge in cases since the double mutant Indian variant was reported there a couple of months ago.  

Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri and his Narok counterpart Ladema Ole Kina cited that most of Kenya’s 47 local authorities are not properly equipped to deal with the Coronavirus health crisis, which weakens the country’s fight against the pandemic.

“What contingency measures have you taken to stem this spiking of the COVID-19 pandemic in this region, it’s a point of worry. I am within the region and I am seeing a lot of events that are happening and I would like to be assured from the Governor that you have taken adequate measures with the fourth wave that is being reported in Kisumu, Homa Bay and the region,” Ongeri posed during a session on Tuesday.

He went on to assert that the only way to stem off the COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination.

Ladema questioned the preparedness at the Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital where the isolation unit is reported to be full, raising concerns that Kisumu county could be dealing with more than just logistical preparations.

“Right now Governor, I know there is a challenge of the vaccines but I think you can take an opportunity to try and test your people of Nyamira, I think one of the things that you be bring to the Council of Governors now is to talk about how you can invest in this rapid test kits to be able to know how many people are infected by the disease,” the Narok Senator added.

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo assured the Committee that the counties are working in conjunction with the national government and donor agencies to ensure the situation is contained.

Nyaribo said the county governments have been urging members of the public not to physically attend worship centers for their own safety while also warning that those flouting home based care guidelines will be prosecuted after institutional confinement and negative testing.

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“Vaccination has been quite low, at the moment we are at 10,000 and we have already started administering the second round of the vaccine. In terms of control we have hyped up inspection in those areas to ensure the COVID-19 protocols are observed.”

“In terms of our hospitals we continue improving our capacity in the ICU and contact-tracing, these are on-going particularly we are trying to protect over kids,” he told the Senate team.

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