Kenya: Govt Committed to Protect Healthcare Workers After Four Deaths

Testing for COVID-19 (file photo).

Nairobi — The Ministry of Health now says that four healthcare workers have so far succumbed to coronavirus in the line of duty since the first case was reported in the country mid-March.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman on Wednesday said the government was getting increasingly concerned on the safety of healthcare workers, and committed to adequately protect them.

"There has been noted that the transmission of the disease among healthcare workers is associated with lack of established practices of infection control and poor implementation of infection and prevention control guideline protocol while in other situations is due to lack of knowledge of this virus," Aman said, on the week Kenya the first medical doctor to the virus. Dr Doreen Lugaki was buried last week in Western Kenya.

He revealed that as of Wednesday, 450 healthcare workers had tested positive for the virus and assured that the government is prioritizing their safety as they continue to work in the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.

"The occupational health risk to healthcare workers posed by COVID-19 has attracted global and national concern. The government will continue to place extreme importance on protection of health care workers. When healthcare workers are at risk, we are all at risk," Aman added.

On Wednesday, Kenya recorded 461 new coronavirus infections raising the total number of those who have been infected by the virus in the country to 11, 252.

Dr Aman said 461 new infections were recorded on Wednesday fro 4,261 samples tested since Tuesday.

"On a positive note," he said, "51 patients have been discharged after recovering from this virus."

3,068 people have recovered from coronavirus since mid March when the virus was first detected in the country, sending panic and grounding the economy.

Nairobi County still continues to be the epicenter of the virus after it recorded 248 cases alone of the new infections recorded on Wednesday.

Machakos County followed with 97 while 20 infections were recorded in Kiambu County.

"Of the new infections, a one-year old infant tested positive for the virus with the oldest being an 86-year-old man," Dr Aman said.

With the infection rate in the country on the rise, Dr. Aman emphasized the need for Kenyans to comply with the set containment measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

Kenya remains on a night curfew imposed three months ago, until August 6 when President Uhuru Kenyatta will issue new directives.

Bars remain closed, with restrictions also imposed on any large gatherings or political meetings or rallies.

And even though churches were allow to re-open under strict guidelines on number of worshippers and social distancing, many remain closed due to fear of COVID-19 infections.

Schools will also remain closed until next year.

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