Kagwe convenes crisis meeting to address safety of healthcare workers in Covid fight

Monday, November 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe.

 Bernard Gitau @benagitau

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has convened a crisis meeting today to review the safety of health care workers in the country, following the increase in the number of deaths and infections in the country.

 In a statement on the Covid-19 situation in the country, Kagwe said last week was a bad one for healthcare professionals following the deaths of four top medical doctors.

 “This is a big blow to our health sector, considering the healthcare workers are our frontline soldiers in this war.

In view of the rising cases, as well as the rising fatality cases, I have in my capacity as the chairperson, convened a special meeting of the National Emergency Response Committee  (NERC) tomorrow” he said.

Kagwe said the meeting will review among other issues the rise in positive cases and the current containment measures.

 “We shall also deliberate on the issues affecting healthcare workers countrywide including the supply of Personal Protective equipment and other enabling measures as they go about combating the virus among our people,” he said.

The four doctors who died on Saturday are said to have contracted the virus in the line of duty.

They are Emarah Ashraf, Hudson Alumera, Jackline Njoroge and Faith Kanjiru Mburu.

 Following their deaths, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) issues a 21-day strike notice in order to push the government to address their welfare in the Covid19 times.

KMPDU under acting Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda on Sunday after holding a special meeting , told the government to urgently address their issues including provision of protective gear, comprehensive medical insurance, salaries paid on time, promotions, compensation packages and exemptions from duty for doctors who are pregnant or who have pre-existing conditions in order to stop the strike from happening.

Kagwe made the remarks even as he reported that in the last 24 hours, the country recorded 972 new positive cases from 6648 sample sizes tested with 20 deaths. The cumulative positive cases in the country stand at 70, 245 with cumulative tests being 789,952.

With the country recording 20 deaths, the number of fatalities so far is 1,229.

At the moment, 1,229 patients are admitted in various health facilities countrywide, while 5,572 are on Home Based Care and Isolation.

59 patients are in the ICU, 26 of whom are on ventilator support, and 30 on supplemental oxygen.

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