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State plans home care for Covid-19 patients as cases rise to 2,340

Mutahi Kagwe
Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe giving daily briefs on Covid 19 at Afya house Nairobi on Thursday, June 04, 2020. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

The Health ministry is working on guidelines for home care of Covid-19 patients who show no symptoms as Kenya looks to ease pressure on public hospitals.

Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said with current figures indicating that 80 percent of the patients in Kenya are asymptomatic, it was time the ministry introduced measures for home management of infected persons.

The ministry said it would launch the homecare by next week, targeting the asymptomatic patients “since they do not require hospitalisation”.

Mr Kagwe said the move was necessary as some of the facilities like the Kenyatta National Hospital Mbagathi and Kenyatta University Hospital, were almost at capacity.

He was speaking during the Covid-19 briefing where he announced 124 new cases.

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“Over the last three months we have been learning about this disease and time has come for us to begin to implement our systems so that we can cope with our Covid-19 situation,” said Mr Kagwe.

“The Ministry of Health is going to be issuing these protocols...and when people come home it will call for a degree of discipline that we must stick to because if we fail to then we will have a problem.

“When we see people coming home, we must acknowledge that they are no danger to us and we must not stigmatise them.”

By last Friday, the ministry had allowed 130 Covid-19 patients to recover from home and they included pregnant and nursing mothers as well as those who had flown in from India.

The home-based care is set to lessen the burden currently being experienced by the hospitals amid the exponential growth in the number of cases in the country. Over the last 14 days, cases have increased by 1,211 to reach 2,340 yesterday.

Nairobi and Mombasa remain the Covid-19 hotspots, accounting for more than three-quarters of the cases. Busia County is also becoming an epicentre due to the increasing cases from truck drivers at the Malaba border.

Of all the cases announced on Thursday, Mombasa, Nairobi and Busia had 40, 38 and 26 cases, respectively. Kajiado County had six cases, Kiambu three, Garissa and Taita Taveta had two cases each and single cases were also found in Murang’a and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.

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