Counties in a rush to attain 300-bed capacity condition

Thursday, July 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Wycliffe Oparanya, LREB chair and Kakamega governor. Photo/File

More than half of the  counties have complied with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive of attaining 300-bed capacity in the isolation facilities, it emerged yesterday.

Council of Governors (CoG) chairman  Wycliffe Oparanya revealed  that as at yesterday 26, counties had beaten the July 7 deadline issued by the Head of State on June 7, while the remaining 21 counties were working towards achieving the same by July 22.

The disclosure came even as CoG told citizens who plan to move from one county to another to ensure they test for coronavirus before doing so.

“They are all at different levels of preparedness,” the Kakamega Governor said at the Council head office when he presented a report on the State of Preparedness of County Governments on Covid-19 since its outbreak in Kenya leaving Nairobi out in the list.

According to the report, which has been seen by the People Daily, among the 26 counties that have complied with the presidential directive are Mombasa (442 isolation beds), Machakos (423), Kiambu (325), Uasin Gishu (324), Makueni (312), Kilifi (318), and Murang’a (398).

Also on the list are Vihiga with  300 isolation beds; Homa Bay (300), Nyeri (340), Kericho (300), Kakamega (302), Mandera (306), Garissa (419), Nakuru (330), Kisii (318), Laikipia (424), Narok (340), Nandi (366), Trans Nzoia (332), Kwale (340), Nyandarua (330), Bungoma (404), West Pokot (337), Kirinyaga (300), and Tharaka Nithi (394).

The other  21 counties that are yet to comply with the directive include  Kajiado (203), Busia (220), Turkana (154), Embu (145), Meru (124), Bomet (95), Baringo (102), Isiolo (217), Wajir (95), Elgeyo Marakwet (281) Kitui (70), Taita Taveta (143), Marsabit (50), Samburu (246), Tana River (43), Kisumu (87), Lamu (30), Nyamira (195), Migori (175), and Siaya (66).

While giving an update on the preparedness of counties , Oparanya clarified that CoG is not reporting on the preparedness of Nairobi County for now, as this is being done by the Ministry of Health.

Counties captured

Oparanya made the remarks even as it emerged that only three counties had added to the list of 23 counties captured in a report released in the weekend.

By then the counties had attained a total of 9,300 isolation beds, against the national target of 30,500 units.

“Cumulatively, 26 counties have complied with the President’s directive of attaining 300 bed capacity in the isolation facilities.

The remaining 21 counties are working towards achieving the same by July 22, 2020,” Oparanya said yesterday.

Oparanya’s sentiments came after President Uhuru on June 7,  directed all counties to have at least a 300-bed isolation centre each in readiness to deal with the upsurge of Covid-19 positive cases in the country. 

Uhuru also directed the counties  to identify Covid-19 hospitals in their respective jurisdictions for gazzetement.

During yesterday’s press conference, Oparanya welcomed the move by the president to partially re-open the country, but cautioned that Kenyans to remain vigilant by adhering to  the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

“In the past few days, we have witnessed the number of positive cases recorded averaging 200 per day.

It is therefore evident that the disease is spreading at an accelerating rate. This point to the need for intense effort by both levels of government and other stakeholders to confront the pandemic,” he said emphasising the need for individual responsibility to address the likely surge for Covid positive cases.


“At the same time it points to concerted effort for individual responsibility failure to which the control of the disease will be impossible and fatal.

It’s going to be mandatory that if you fall sick, you will be treated in the county where you are situated at the time of illness,” the CoG chairman said cautioning that nobody will be allowed to transport sickness to another county.

He called for support of the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) in order to enhance outreach, since the country has been opened, and movement is highly increased “so response needs to be swift, timely and effective.”

Besides, the status of isolation beds in the counties, Oparanya said In the past one and half weeks, the 47 County Governments have also addressed; the training and sensitisation of healthcare workers, active quarantine facilities and recruitment of healthcare workers.

“Thirty-eight counties have trained an additional 846 healthcare workers bringing the total to 19, 177. Further, an additional 1, 247 community health volunteers have been sensitised bringing the total to 64, 283.

He called on partners willing to sustain the government’s efforts to flatten the Covid-19 curve to channel their support to the government.

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