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COVID-19

President Uhuru: Why COVID-19 pandemic is a ‘blessing in disguise’

He said the strategic diagnostic investments have strengthened the country’s healthcare system especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented transformations in the country’s health sector, President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced.

He said the transformation is probably one of the most phenomenal testimonies of how Kenya transformed COVID-19 obstacles into opportunities that improved the health sector.

He said one of the unintended benefits of the pandemic is the increase of intensive care unit bed capacity from 108 to 651 ICU ready beds, an impressive 502 per cent.

“Similarly, our total hospital bed capacity as a country has increased by 47 per cent from 56,069 in 2013 to the current figure of 82,291 hospital beds spread throughout the country,” he noted.

While highlighting key achievements during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga County, the President also said the country has improved oxygen production capacity significantly.

The President reported that public health facilities can now produce over 32 million litters of medical Oxygen per day, up from 3 million litres per day in March 2020.

On testing capacity, he said the country in March 2020 only had one referencing laboratory to test notifiable diseases of international concern but now boosts of 95 such labs.

“Let me remind you that at the beginning of the pandemic early last year, we used to ship our samples for testing in South Africa and the results turnaround time would be anything from 5 days onwards,” he stated.

He said the strategic diagnostic investments have strengthened the country’s healthcare system especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It will propel us faster towards the attainment of UHC and fortify our country’s preparedness for future global health security challenges,” he stated.

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COVID-19

County constructs mega Oxygen manufacturing plant at Nakuru PGH

Governor Lee’s administration is increasing the intensive care unit and staff capabilities to enable the County to deal with medical emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and others.

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The upcoming Oxygen plant superstructure

Shortage of medical oxygen in Nakuru County will soon be a thing of the past following the construction of an oxygen production plant at the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital.

The modern plant will be producing 2,000 litres of oxygen per minute and will have a 660kva standby generator to ensure an uninterruptible power supply in the event of a KPLC blackout.

The construction of the superstructures to house the plant and powerhouse is over 90 per cent done. The standby generator and oxygen production equipment arrived in the country early this month.

During the groundbreaking ceremony in August last year, Mr Hillary Kosgei, the Technical Director at Debra Limited said the dual system will ensure uninterruptible Oxygen supply in the event one unit breaks down.

“When the demand for medical Oxygen is low, one machine can rest and this will enhance durability. One unit can refill 48 oxygen cylinders in 24hrs, which is enough to run a hospital,” he stated.

Once complete, Nakuru will be the second County to have such a high-yielding medical oxygen plant in Kenya. The other is found in Uasin Gishu at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

The facility will supplement the 1,200 tonnes capacity per minute plant at the hospital, which is jointly run under public-private partnerships by Hewa Tele Limited and Nakuru County.

The construction of the medical oxygen plant is in line with Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s manifesto of improving the state of healthcare services in the region.

Governor Lee’s administration is increasing the intensive care unit and staff capabilities to enable the County to deal with medical emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and others.

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COVID-19

Government launches COVID-19 booster doses vaccination

In March 2021, the government began vaccination against COVID-19 as an additional mitigation measure against the disease.

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The Government will from tomorrow roll out COVID-19 booster vaccine doses for those who have completed the primary vaccination series in the last six months.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the move was aimed at maintaining immunity against the disease, especially with the emergence of highly transmissible variants.

He said healthcare workers, security personnel, teachers, those with co-existing medical conditions and those above 50 years of age will be prioritized.

“I call upon this population to present themselves at the nearest vaccination centre for this crucial shot,” he stated in his New Year State address.

In March 2021, the government began vaccination against COVID-19 as an additional mitigation measure against the disease.

To date, Kenya has received 23 million doses of assorted vaccines and 10 million doses have been administered to Kenyans.

“In the past few months, we have witnessed an increase in vaccination rates; and so far 15 per cent of the adult population is fully vaccinated,” he noted.

He said the country currently has 13 million doses of the vaccines and targets to vaccinate over 30 million Kenyans by the end of December 2022.

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COVID-19

Alarm as COVID-19 positivity rate hits 37.6%

The CS has urged Kenyans to remain cautious and vigilant during the festive season, as the country is still in the midst of a pandemic.

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The Ministry of Health has announced 1,596 new cases of coronavirus from a sample size of 4,242 tested in the last 24 hours.

The country’s positivity rate is at 37.6 per cent.

In a statement on Monday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said from the cases 1,454 are Kenyans while 142 are foreigners, and that a total of 879 patients are females and 717 are males.

The youngest patient is an eight-month-old child while the oldest is 91 years.

This brings the total confirmed positive cases to 284,150 and cumulative tests so far conducted are 2,994,912.

The CS has urged Kenyans to remain cautious and vigilant during the festive season, as the country is still amid a pandemic.

“I would like to urge Kenyans, not to engage in mass parties, but if they have to, do it outdoors and observe the Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines and protocols,” Kagwe said.

Distribution of cases

Nairobi has 683 cases, Siaya 213, Murang’a 133, Uasin Gishu 75, Kajiado 73, Kakamega 62, Kiambu 55,

Nakuru 53, Migori 48, Kitui 38, Kericho 33, Nyeri 26, Kwale 19, Laikipia 14, Homa Bay 14, Kirinyaga 13, Embu 13, Marsabit 9, Turkana 6, Machakos 5, Meru 5, Kisii 4 and Makueni 2.

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