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Economy

Five counties now have at least 300 beds for Covid-19

Covid-19 patient
A doctor at a hospital in Mombasa attends to a Covid-19 patient on May 16 May 2020. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA 

Only five counties have so far complied with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to have at least 300 hospital beds for Covid-19 response, governors have said.

Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya on Wednesday said that the immediate goal was to reach a target of 30 active isolation facilities each with a 500-bed capacity “but most counties are still lagging behind”.

Currently, there are 180 isolation facilities in the country and a total of 187 hospitals that can handle Covid-19 treatment.

This is in addition to 453 intensive care unit (ICU) beds across the 47 counties.

A total of 3,220 healthcare workers out of 5,550 recruited to support the fight against the virus have also reported to various counties.

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“I call upon the remaining 42 county governments to prioritise this initiative (which) will enhance the national preparedness on management of the disease,” he said.

Mr Oparanya further noted that county governments have developed draft proposals to guide reopening of the economy, inter-county movement and the reactivation of places of worship.

“It is our hope that our proposals on the respective protocols will be considered and subsequently adopted so as to pave the way for the gradual easing of the lockdown and cessation of movement,” he said.

HIGHEST BURDEN

The national response committee on coronavirus ordered counties to develop their healthcare infrastructure. This was after the National Treasury released a Sh5 billion emergency fund to county governments for use in the expansion of health care infrastructure.

The disbursement came after weeks of appeals by the governors, who insisted that their governments were not equipped to handle the pandemic.

So far, the country has confirmed 4,044 cases of coronavirus spread across 40 counties with the highest burden in Nairobi, Mombasa and Busia counties.

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