Kenya: Take COVID-19 Testing to All Counties, Governors Tell State

Residents of Kawangware, in Nairobi, present themselves for coronavirus testing (file photo).

Governors now want the national government to develop an intense procedure to ensure Covid-19 testing is conducted in all the 47 counties. This, they say, will boost the number of those tested in order to ensure proper medical attention.

The governors made the appeal Wednesday, the day the country witnessed the highest number of cases reported in 24 hours at 123.

Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said that with the increasing number of those testing positive on a daily basis, it will only be fair if the testing centres are made available across all counties.

TESTING LIMITED

Mr Oparanya, who was giving the 10 counties preparedness address on Covid-19 in Kisumu, said that from the current trend, there is likely to be many cases in the country, but because of the limited testing, those affected could be continuing to infect others in the community.

"What is critical is that national government must come up with an intense procedure to ensure that testing is done in every county.

"If possible, the testing facilities should be in every county especially in level four facilities and above," said Mr Oparanya.

He said the limited number of testing facilities is a hindrance to establishing and isolating those affected.

MOBILE TESTING

"Last week, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe promised that there would be mobile testing. I think this has not been achieved at the moment but I am happy that border counties have been supported and most of them have testing centres," Mr Oparanya said.

He urged the National Treasury to disburse Sh5 billion to the county governments that was promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta as support towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The National Treasury is also yet to disburse the Sh353 million donated by the Danish Embassy towards this fight in the levels two and three health facilities.

"As the pandemic spreads rapidly to the counties, Kenyans should be aware that there is adequate funding and we should not be held accountable for failure to act because the resources are being withheld by the National Treasury," added the governor.

NHIF

Civil servants, he said, are currently not covered by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), thus they will have to pay from their pockets for any expenses that arise from contracting any disease including Covid-19.

"We call upon NHIF to expedite this process and sign agreements with the county governments to ensure that civil servants, including the medical personnel, are insured," said the CoG chairman.

He also revealed that 46 counties have so far reported on the status of active quarantine facilities.

"Currently, there are 1,789 people in quarantine; 2,436 people who were confined in public quarantine facilities have been released having tested negative. This is good news for the county governments," he said.

He encouraged Kenyans to practice self-quarantine especially when they suspect they have come into contact with a person with the.

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