Kenya: Kilifi Sees Rise in Covid-19 Cases as It Reopens Isolation Centres

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has raised concerns about rising cases of Covid-19 in the county.

A rise in infections had been recorded in the past three months with several deaths, he said.

Many Covid-19 patients were in isolation centres under oxygen in public and private hospitals.

Last week, Kilifi lost two of its former ward representatives to Covid-19.

Mr Kingi warned of tough measures from this week to help combat the disease.

"We are going to announce strict measures to prevent the rising numbers of Covid-19," he said.

He appealed to the public to adhere to these measures for their own safety.

Six people had succumbed to Covid-19 this month, he said, with the county registering not less than 25 people positive tests.

He said that at the beginning of the pandemic, and even during the second wave, there were no critical patients that required oxygen.

"The trend is worrying because every day we are recording not less than 25 cases of Covid-19. Initially, we used to have few people on oxygen and there were no deaths. Recently six patients in our facilities succumbed to Covid-19," he said.

Governor Kingi faulted the public for going against Covid-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

In July last year, Governor Kingi officially opened the Kilifi County Covid-19 Medical Complex located at Kilifi County Referral Hospital.

The Covid-19 Medical Complex was to be used as an isolation and management centre for severe coronavirus patients.

The county government had 318 isolation beds and seven ventilators. The facility had a doctor's residence with a capacity for 14 medical officers on 14-day working shifts.

But the facility is not operational yet.

Health executive Charles Dadu said the facility is undergoing final works for the private wings and semi-private wards and assembling ICU equipment.

He said work is 85 percent compete and the facility will open soon.

"We already have critical caregivers and it is about harmonising their diaries to settle for the best earliest. Another staff training is ongoing," he said.

Only two isolation centres are operational.

These are Gede Dispensary and Kilifi County Referral Hospital.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the county set up isolation centres at Mbudzi Community Hospital, at Jibana Dispensary, in Mtwapa, in Malindi, and at Gede Dispensary that were to admit mild Covid-19 cases.

Most of the isolation centres were operational health facilities and as the number of cases started to decline, the department of health reverted them to their normal operations to serve the public.

There were also two major quarantine centres at the Kenya Medical Training College and St Thomas Girls Secondary School in Kilifi town.

Another quarantine centre was at the former Mabati Rolling Mills Clinic.

These facilities also closed and resumed their normal operations.

"Quarantine is now a responsibility of the individual, at home or hotel. We only take care of isolation at a government facility and supervise quarantine and home-based care," he said.

The county was under pressure to supply oxygen due to high demand, he said.

He said the two isolation centres are full and that they are planning to set up another isolation facility at the county hospital.

"Our real pressure is on oxygen, the consumption is high at the moment," he added.

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