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Government orders Covid-19 tests for patients before hospital admission

Health Services Director General Dr Patrick
Health Services Director General Dr Patrick during a Covid-19 briefing on May 7, 2020. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG  

All patients who will be admitted to hospitals have to undergo Covid-19 test as a prerequisite for admission, the government said as Kenya confirmed 28 new coronavirus cases on Monday.

The measure comes as the Ministry of Health also announced the death of a 33-year-old who was receiving treatment at a hospital for other ailments and was only diagnosed with Covid-19 on passing.

Health Services Director General Dr Patrick Amoth said testing of patients for the respiratory disease is meant to reduce the risk posed to healthcare workers and to protect other patients whose immunity may be compromised.

The new measure was announced as the Health ministry said the number of Covid-19 cases had risen to 700 after the 28 people tested positive.

Twelve people have been discharged, bringing the number of recoveries to 251. Fatalities now stand at 33.

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“In the last 48 hours we had a 33-year-old gentleman die in the hospital….when you have people die at facility then they put the health workers at the risk of contracting Covid-19 and of course transmitting the infection to other patients in the ward undergoing various treatments and whose immune systems are already compromised,” Dr Amoth said.

“It is because of this that with the case management team we are reviewing our guidelines so as to make it possible for anybody admitted at a facility to take a Covid-19 test as a part of the admission procedure,” he added.

The latest case follows several other incidences where patients thought to suffer other ailments were posthumously diagnosed with Covid-19.

Some incidents include the death of a child on treatment for a chronic ailment who died at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) about a month ago and that of an adult from Mombasa County.

Pathologists flagged the Mombasa case, while the child succumbed shortly after doctors became curious of his ailment and took samples for testing.

To date 34 healthcare workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

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