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Machakos hospital whose staff got Covid-19 now allowed to reopen

Wednesday July 01 2020
shalom

Shalom Community Hospital in Machakos County on June 27, 2020 after it was sealed off following the deaths of four Covid-19 patients. The hospital was on July 1, 2020 allowed to resume services. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LILLIAN MUTAVI

Shalom Community Hospital in Machakos County, which was recently closed after six of its employees recently tested positive for Covid-19, has been allowed to resume services.

This follows inspection and approval by officials from the county government and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC).

“Following this development, the hospital has resorted to testing all our staff and patients who might come into close contact with these patients, especially asymptomatic patients,” read a statement issued Tuesday.

KMPDC DIRECTIVE

This was after KMPDC CEO Daniel Yumbya directed that the sealing off of the hospital be lifted with immediate effect.

Dr Yumbya, who visited the hospital on Tuesday, said the move was arrived at after an in-depth consideration of the report issued on Monday to KMPDC and the county government of Machakos.

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The council conditionally gave the hospital the nod to resume normal operations.

“The hospital resumes services as provided for under Cap 253 of the Laws of Kenya. The security teams currently deployed at Athi River Shalom Community Hospital vacate with immediate effect,” read a statement.

Dr Yumbya and other council members inspected the hospital before issuing the directive.

FOUR DEAD

Shalom Hospital was sealed off last Friday by both the council and Machakos County government after four people who were admitted there died of Covid-19.

KMPDC ordered the hospital’s medical director to fumigate and disinfect the entire facility.

“The hospital management to ensure availability of adequate PPE. Patients and staff whose results are yet to be received are advised to wait for further directives which shall be issued by mid-day tomorrow, July 1,” read the statement.

Dr Yumbya asked the Machakos County director of Health to ensure that all health workers who tested negative for Covid-19 are allowed to proceed for home-based quarantine or continue with normal duties.

QUARANTINE

He ordered that all health workers who tested positive of Covid-19 be quarantined in an identified ward in the hospital under the Ministry of Health isolation guidelines.

“The county government of Machakos should ensure psychological support is provided to staff and patients. The Machakos CEC for Health to ensure that all patients who tested positive for Covid-19 and are due for discharge are allowed to proceed for 14 days home quarantine,” he added.

NOT AN INFECTIONS ZONE

The new development was received with joy by the hospital’s management and staff led by the CEO, Dr Onyango, who praised the move, saying that the facility is not a “Covid-19 infections zone".

He said the management will ensure no patient contracts Covid-19 at the hospital.

He added that the hospital will comply with all set protocols.

Dr Onyango dismissed claims that there was bad blood between his hospital and the Machakos County government.

"It's just unfortunate that we have ended where we are. We have no animosity with Governor Mutua and, in fact, we are partners in the provision of health services in the county,” he said.

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