Interventions put in place to curb coronavirus
By Daisy Okanga | As fears of coronavirus mount across the world, the government has moved in with speed to outline measures which it says would be used to combat the virus which has global tension claiming thousands of people since its outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019.
The Ministry of Health said it continues to maintain a heightened surveillance system at all points of entry, and health facilities across the country.
The following measures have been put in place to combat the virus in case of an outbreak:
- Governance- The adoption of a whole government and multi-agency approach, at two levels (policy and technical). Ministries, departments and agencies have been brought on board to deal with the threat of COVID-19.
2. Activation of the emergency operations centre: The emergency operations centre has been activated and is closely monitoring the evolution of the outbreak across the world. In addition, the rapid response teams are on standby to investigate any alert in a country.
3. Diagnostic Capacity: The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health has the necessary capacity for in-country testing COVID-19.
4. Screening: Mandatory screening is ongoing at all points of entry to minimize the risk of importation of the virus from affected countries. A total of 320,123 travellers have been screened across various points of entry since 20th January 2020 to date.
5. Human resources: 615 health workers in both public and private health facility and at points of entry have been sensitized on how to deal with suspected cases. Additional health workers have been deployed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA).
6. Isolation facilities: The isolation area at Kenyatta National Hospital continues to be used to isolate suspected cases while they undergo investigation. The national government has taken over a new ward with a capacity of 120 beds at Mbagathi District Hospital to increase isolation capacity. In addition, all the points of entry have isolation. Holding facilities and prepositioned personal protective equipment. Further, the Ministry of Health has met with all the Chief Executive Officers for major private health facilities within Nairobi city to support the provision of additional isolation facilities in the vent that the country reports more cases than the capacity at Kenyatta National Hospital.
7. Personal protective equipment: The country has adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sets and more are being mobilized.
On Monday, the government announced plans to procure two million masks in readiness for Coronavirus.
Announcements were made by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) on Monday that there are measures in place in readiness for the virus which has claimed close to 3,000 lives with over eighty thousand people infected globally.
“The government is today procuring two million masks in preparation for any eventuality with regards to Corona Virus.” Said KEMSA CEO, Jonah Manjari.
Monari said the product specification and quantification on Coronavirus preparedness has been done at Mbagathi Hospital: masks, various sets, protective gear, 120 beds, oxygen and drugs.
The Coronavirus preparedness budget is estimated at Ksh850 million. One local supplier can manufacture 130,000 masks a day, KEMSA said when the need arises, the government shall source from other manufacturers.
Kenyans have, however, been advised to remain vigilant as the risk is still high and to continue taking precautionary measures by maintaining basic hand and respiratory hygiene and safe food practices.
Anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing and sneezing with a history of recent travel affected countries is advised to visit the nearest health facility for assessment and prompt management.