16 more Covid deaths as Mombasa runs out of beds

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
A resident of Kawangware estate is tested during a mass testing exercise. Photo/PD/John ochieng

Noah Cheploen and Reuben Mwambingu

The country yesterday reported 16 more deaths in the last 24 hours. The highest numbers since August.

This is as 497 more patients tested positive from 4,888 samples conducted in the last 24 hours.

The total positive  cases stand at 46,144. Our cumulative tests are now  632,669.

 In a statement yesterday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the virus fatality rate has risen to 858. 

Some 27 patients are currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in various hospitals while 41 are on supplementary oxygen—meaning they need a little support to breathe properly.

 “Our sincere condolences to the families and friends to those who have lost their loved ones,” he said. 

A total of 1,189 patients are currently admitted in various health facilities and 2,661 are on home-based care and isolation, he stated. 

The last time the country recorded such a high number of fatalities was on August 21. 

“From the cases, 471 are Kenyans and 26 are foreigners while the youngest is a one-year-old infant.

The oldest is 88,” he said adding that the number of males who have contracted the dreaded virus is higher  at 295 compared to females at  202.

According to the data, Nairobi leads with 227 new cases followed by Machakos (64), Mombasa (51), Uasin Gishu (37), Laikipia (28) and Busia (19). Twenty one counties reported new cases yesterday.

They include Kajiado (11), Embu (10), Nakuru (nine), Wajir (seven), Kiambu (six), Kilifi (six), Kisumu (four), Nyeri (four), Makueni (three) and Elgeyo-Marakwet had two cases. In Nairobi, Langa’ta, Westlands, Embakasi West and North, Kibra, and Dagoreti North reported double figures. 

On a positive note, 228 more patients have been discharged bringing the number of recoveries to 32,760. Out of these, 170 were under the home-based care programme while 68 had been admitted in various hospitals, said Kagwe.

The National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) has raised the alarm over a spike of new cases particularly in Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kilifi, Turkana, Kisii, Kisumu and Trans Nzoia describing the current situation as worrying. 

Kagwe further urged Kenyans to strictly adhere to the safety protocols such as regular washing of hands with soap, wearing of face masks in all public places and keeping physical distance saying this is the only way to keep the virus at bay.  

ICU beds

Meanwhile, the Mombasa County healthcare system has now been overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients, County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo warned yesterday.

Kitiyo further warned that the county is in dire need of an additional ICU beds.

Addressing the press in Mombasa, Kitiyo admitted that although the county had won against the first wave, “this second wave is proving to be much stronger. People are dying unceremoniously.”

Kitiyo said ICU and ventilator beds in all the major hospitals in Mombasa, including Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, Mombasa Hospital, Aga Khan and Pandya are all full, meaning currently the region has no capacity to admit any more severe and critical patients.

“The truth of the matter is that the County has been overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases.

But because there are doubting Thomases who have never believed that Covid-19 exists, I urge you journalists to confirm the status of ICUs in all the hospitals.

Go and see for yourselves and cover the situation for the public to see,” he said.

According to Kitiyo, the current surge has been accompanied by more deaths adding that so far 89 people have died in Mombasa since the first case was reported in March.

Kitiyo who co-chairs the committee alongside Governor Hassan Joho strongly warned residents against violating the Covid-19 health protocols, to avert further spread.

“It is no longer a joke. Kindly adhere to the protocols,” he said warning that some unscrupulous brokers have been working in cahoots with  truck drivers to provide them with fake Covid-19 certificates to enable them access the Port of Mombasa for evacuation of cargo.

He confirmed that Covid-19 cases have been reported in two schools; Tononoka and Star of the sea High schools, which have been shut to pave way for fumigation.

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