Governors ask for kits to ramp up testing for Covid

County governments have called on the Ministry of Health to supply hospitals at the devolved units with more Covid-19 testing kits to scale up testing.

While cautioning that the drop in Kenya’s positivity rate to 9.6 per cent is partly informed by subdued testing, the Council of Governors Health Committee Chairman Prof Anyang Nyong’o said scaling up testing will ensure proper recording and reporting of the magnitude of the disease within the communities.

“We, however, note that the decrease of the positivity rate is as a result of lack of testing kits in the country. This poses a major challenge as the virus is spreading rapidly and could overstretch the county health facilities,” said Prof Nyong’o.

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Data from the Ministry of Health shows that 629 people tested positive to Covid-19 on Tuesday, April 20, from a sample size of 5,832 tested in the last 24-hour period, bringing the total number of confirmed positive cases to 152,523. This implies that the Kenya’s positivity rate is at about 10 per cent.

At the moment, there are 7,751 beds in 142 isolation centers across 38 counties out of which 6,890 beds are available for patients. About 321 out of 375 Intensive Care Unit beds are available, said Prof Nyong’o.

According to the Council of Governors, the government dispatched 874,932 vaccine doses and 642,751 doses have already been administered.

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In the phased vaccination approach, about 136,084 healthcare workers have received the jab while 52,603 members of the security personnel have been vaccinated.

Nearly 100,000 teachers have also been vaccinated while just over 350,000 members of the public, including senior citizens over the age of 58 have gotten the life-saving shot.

On March 26, President Uhuru Kenyatta placed Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos, and Nakuru counties under new curbs to help check runaway spread of the virus. Whereas the rest of the counties are on the 10pm-4am curfew, the five units around the capital are on 8pm–4am lockdown.

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