Coronavirus isolation zones set up in Nairobi, Machakos: Kagwe

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OKINDA

Extraordinary public health measures have been implemented across the country amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Health minister said on Wednesday.

Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the country is well prepared to handle spread of the disease which has caused worldwide panic.

CS Kagwe spoke when he met with governors to review the level of preparedness for the new coronavirus in the counties.

He said an isolation facility at the Mbagathi Level Five Hospital will be completed Thursday.

He added that an additional isolation facility is being set up in Mavoko, Machakos.

“It is just a question of proper coordination and standards that we need to set for the creation of the isolation wards and how to transfer those who are infected, as well as reservation of special ambulances for transporting them,” he said.

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The preparation processes, he said, are being cascaded downwards to the county governments from the national government.

Local administrators, including chiefs, sub-chiefs and the police, he said, should be ready to be deployed in the event that there is a need to isolate and secure certain areas.

“We are also working with other players in the international community, including the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and the Centre for Diseases Control," he said.

Mr Kagwe said that the World Bank has said it will fund emergency responses in the country.

The Health CS further said that there is enough protective equipment in the country, including at the county level, and training for health workers on protecting themselves as well as on using the safety gear is ongoing.

The minister, at the same time, warned rumour mongers against spreading false information regarding coronavirus.

“Before you share any information, it is imperative that you are sure the information is correct. It is important that people abstain from abuse of the social media and passing on information that they are not sure of,” the CS said.