Ministry to roll out home care rules for coronavirus patients

Friday, June 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. PD/File

The government will soon issue protocols on home care for coronavirus patients, as the number of cases that have tested positive for the disease soared to reach 2,340 yesterday after 124 persons tested positive for the virus. 

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the ministry has completed home-based and community protocols and is in the process of actualising them for roll out and subsequent implementation countrywide.

He said the protocols will free health facilities from congestion citing Mbagathi and Kenyatta University hospitals respectively, which are now getting to full capacities.

“This means a lot of people in isolation facilities maybe released to be taken care of at their homes provided it is in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols we are in the process of domesticating in accordance with our situation,” said Kagwe during the daily updates on the stats of coronavirus.

There are at least 124 new cases from 2,640 samples reported yesterday out of which 119 are Kenyans, two Somalis, two Tanzanians and one Eritrean national.

Four other patients succumbed to the disease to bring the total of fatalities to 78.

He said home-based care will however take into consideration facilities that families may have and where not able to self quarantine the government will still assist.

“A time is coming when we cannot continue as usual, there has to be a change in tact of taking care of those with the disease, we have learnt this disease in the last three months and now we must start implementing our own systems in our own place and depending on the environment as it is the only way we can be able to cope in the future,” added Kagwe   who said he has been tested for the disease severally.

With the fight against the virus raging, Kagwe said over 80 per cent of the patients in hospitals are asymptomatic and may be managed  from home.

Once issued, Kagwe said the most important thing will be how Kenyans will conduct themselves in the fight of the virus and when people come home, it will call for a degree of discipline that must be adhered to

“I am appealing to Kenyans out there, when you see people coming home you will understand that they are no danger to us and hence no need for stigmatization but extra caution will have to be taken to avoid spreading the disease.

 “We are yet to get out of the woods. The fight against this disease has proven that it is a marathon rather than a sprint…the disease is firmly rooted within our communities and the level of spread in our villages, estates and homes and this means we cannot relent in this fight if we must safeguard the lives of our people,” he said.

Kagwe hit out at some cross-border truck drivers who, he said, are not adhering to the rule of testing 48 hours before embarking on their journey to acquire a certificate.

“This has resulted to unnecessary congestion and delays at border points, this is purely indiscipline and unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I am urging law enforcers to take appropriate action against such drivers,” Kagwe directed.

He also said Government could begin publicizing identities of persons who escape from quarantine facilities to alert members of public on the risk they are exposed to.

Kagwe, who termed such individuals as a danger to society, said nothing stops the Ministry from publishing photographs of escapees for the public to identify them.

“When we get to a point where we know some people are running away there is nothing to stop the Ministry of Health from publishing photographs in the newspapers and saying that these people have ran away from a quarantine facility and if you see them call the police or us because they are a danger to society,” said Kagwe.

He also said persons who had given wrong information to avoid being quarantined will still be tracked down.

“There is nothing like missing contacts but missing persons because we have proven over and over again we can and we do track down people. The question is why are you waiting for us to track you down,?” posed the CS.

He also said the containment measures are still in place and should be fully adhere to.

“Nobody has spoken about re-opening. Not in the form you might understand. This is still being looked at. Our experts are looking at modelling to see what we shall advise the President on arriving at a decision that best suits Kenyans,” said the CS.

Mombasa had the highest number of cases at 40, followed by Nairobi with 38, Busia had 26, Kajiado had six, three others were detected in Kiambu while Garissa, and Taita Taveta had two cases each.

Murang’a and Elgeyo Marakwet had one case each.

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