Kenya

Concern as bed space runs out amid surge in Covid-19

Concern as bed space runs out amid surge in Covid-19

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentists Union Central Region secretary Gor Goody addresses the press in Kerugoya. She says most hospitals in Nyeri county lack piped oxygen.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Hospitals in Nyeri have run out of isolation beds following a drastic increase in coronavirus infections.

More than 100 Covid-19 patients in Nyeri county are in isolation.

“A total of 114 patients are being treated in isolation. The number does not include those isolated at home,” Governor Mutahi Kahiga said mid this week.

Mt Kenya Hospital, the main isolation centre in the region, has 22 Covid-19 patients while Nyeri GK Prison has 63.

There are 19 patients, with 10 on oxygen, at Kenyatta National Hospital Othaya Annex.

All the eight Covid-19 patients at Outspan Hospital are on oxygen while two are at in ICU at Nyeri County Referral Hospital.

ICU beds

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Central Region Secretary Gor Goody said having all ICU beds filled means new coronavirus cases hospitals receive are referred to the general wards.

“These wards have people with hypertension, diabetes and other diseases. The patients are at risk of contracting coronavirus. It means the disease continues to spread,” Dr Goody said.

And worse still, most hospitals lack piped oxygen.

“Piped oxygen is ideal for coronavirus patients. We’re using concentrators, which collect atmospheric oxygen. The problem is that using concentrators means everybody in the ward is breathing that oxygen,” she said.

Health ministry said on Wednesday that Nyeri is among the five counties outside zoned regions that is experiencing a fast rise in coronavirus infections. The other counties are Murang’a, Uasin Gishu and Siaya.

Machakos, Kajiado, Nakuru, Kiambu and Nairobi were placed under lockdown on March 26 when President Kenyatta announced new measures to fight the third wave of Covid-19. He banned movement into and out of the counties.

Negligence

Nyeri has registered 1,759 Covid-19 cases, 1,064 of them male.

Ninety five people in the region have died from the disease, putting the fatality rate at 5.3 per cent.

Governor Kahiga attributed the increase in coronavirus infections to negligence and failure to comply with the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health.

He cautioned residents against attending funeral services in big numbers.

“A funeral should be attended by a maximum of 50 family members, who should also maintain social distance,” the governor said.

“The high number of new infections is worrying. We must follow the regulations issued by the county and national governments if we are to win this war,” Mr Kahiga added.

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