Kirinyaga County is in a serious financial crisis and is therefore unprepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri has said.
Mr Ndambiri revealed on Saturday that Governor Anne Waiguru’s county is yet to meet the requirement of at least 300 beds, in line with a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta, so an increase in the number of cases would be disastrous.
The county has confirmed two cases of the disease whereas several people suspected to have it have been quarantined.
"We have 14 beds only in our isolation ward at Kerugoya County Referral Hospital, which is inadequate,’ Mr Ndambiri told a burial ceremony at Ndindiruku village in Mwea Sub-county.
“The level of Covid-19 preparedness is below average.”
Mr Ndambiri attributed the problem to the budget stalemate pitting Governor Waiguru against ward representatives.
He said hospitals, dispensaries and other facilities lack medicines due to the unavailability of funds.
Mr Ndambiri told the governor and the MCAs to put the people’s interests at heart.
“When Ms Waiguru and MCAs fight it is residents in dire need of services who suffer," he stated.
He challenged the parties to soften their hard stances and declare a ceasefire so as to focus on fighting the pandemic and development projects.
“County operations have almost ground to a halt because MCAs have shot down the Executive's budget. I'm concerned about the stalemate," he said.
"The warring politicians should come down from their ivory towers and end the fight which has adversely affected the county.”
The deputy governor advised residents to observe basic measures against the virus, including wearing face masks, sanitising or washing their hands with soap and water.
"This disease is real so residents should be careful," he said.