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Counties where you are most likely to die of coronavirus

Sunday July 12 2020
icu beds

Murang’a County officials receive ICU equipment donated by Family Bank. Governors have raised the alarm about counties’ preparedness to deal with rising Covid-19 infections. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ANGELA OKETCH

You are more likely to die in Vihiga, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Samburu, Tana River and Embu counties if you get infected with Covid-19 and develop complications that require you to be treated in an intensive care unit (ICU).

According to a report by the Council of Governors, there are only 442 ICU beds and 437 ventilators in the country, with over 10,000 isolation beds, against the national target of 30,500 units.

It is also going to be hard for the residents of Makueni, Kilifi, Turkana, Isiolo, Wajir, Busia, Bomet, Laikipia, Uasin Gishu and Garissa, which have fewer than 10 ICU beds in their wards.

Machakos, Kajiado, Kisii, Nakuru, Nyandarau, Trans Nzoia and Kiambu have just about 15 beds in ICU wards.

Outside Nairobi, Murang’a County has the highest number of ICU beds (35) followed by Machakos, with 30.

ICU WARDS

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Acting Health Director-General, Patrick Amoth told the Sunday Nation that as of Saturday, there were 44 patients admitted to ICU wards in the country.

“Out of the number, 22 are on ventilators and another 22 are in ICU receiving oxygen,” Dr Amoth said, warning that with the reopening of the country, more cases will be reported.

As the movement and interactions of people increases, Kenyans are faced with the reality that the country has just under 500 ICU beds in public hospitals, with many having none.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warned that there will no longer be evacuation of Covid-19 patients with complications to Nairobi, and called on counties to prepare to handle the patients.

“This is not out of will, it is out of the fact that by the time we get into that situation, the hospitals in Nairobi will be overwhelmed. It is, therefore, upon the counties to ensure that they are well-prepared to handle the numbers,” Mr Kagwe said.

Mid-June, the CoG raised the red flag about the counties’ state of preparedness to handle the rise in Covid-19 cases. The governors requested for more money and time but President Uhuru Kenyatta did not heed the call, instead opening the country and with that more opportunities for infection.

PREPAREDNESS

“We have reached a reasonable level of preparedness across the country though we have not met 100 preparedness,” the President saidon July 6.

Counties are expected to have at least 300 beds in their isolation centres and ICU beds and ventilators. By yesterday, only 26 of the 47 counties had achieved the target.

Nairobi, Mombasa, Machakos, Bungoma, Laikipia and Garissa have hit the 400-bed mark, with another 10 achieving the 300 target.

The counties that have not met the target are Baringo, Bomet, Busia Elgeyo Marakwet Embu, Isiolo, Kajiado, Siaya, Taita-Taveta, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir, Kitui, Lamu, Marsabit, Migori, Meru, Nyamira, Samburu and Kisumu.

“The remaining 21 counties are working towards achieving the same by July 22,” said CoG chair Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. “They are all at a different level of preparedness.” 

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