Pubs flouting government directives stare at final bell

Monday, June 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media during the daily briefing on Covid-19 yesterday at Afya House in Nairobi. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

Bars and other establishments flouting government directives and serving alcohol now risk losing their licences permanently, even as the number of Covid-19 cases soared by 167.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe yesterday regretted that various facilities opening for business selling alcohol are on the rise particularly in some Nairobi estates including Westlands and Kilimani.

“The directive to close bars that sell alcohol has not been lifted because there are those who have been saying they are now free to start partaking of these things…some of them even saying they are free to order one ‘Kagwe special’.

“I clarify that is not the case,” said Kagwe, yesterday during the daily update on the status of coronavirus in Kenya.

“I would like to propose to the owners of those places to quickly follow the directives we have given otherwise if you are caught selling alcohol or opening a bar, your licence is likely to be withdrawn and for that matter, permanently without any possibility of re-opening again,” warned Kagwe.

Yesterday, the highest single-day number of patients who have tested positive soared to 167 to take the total number of cases to 2,767.

Five foreigners

The positive cases included 162 Kenyans and five foreigners.

Out of 167 cases, Nairobi has 54, Nairobi 47, Busia had 28 cases, Kiambu had 14, 11 in Uasin Gishu, four from Kisumu, three from Machakos while Makueni, Migori, Homabay, Kwale, Siaya and Turkana had one case each.

The death toll rose to 84 as one more patient succumbed to coronavirus while 46 others were discharged to bring the total number of recoveries to 752.

As the Government moves to adopt World Health Organization (WHO) home based care for coronavirus patients, Kagwe said the victims would  continue to be isolated for a minimum period as advised.

He said WHO had recommended nine days but the Government will domesticate the protocols and release people after about 14 days.

He said there were many people in isolation for more than 14 days but were still positive and the protocols were such that those people do not transmit the virus.

“It is not that we are saying positive cases will go home from Day 1,” explained Kagwe.

Acting Director General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth explained that home care guidelines would be customised to suit the country’s situation.

Explaining the concept, Amoth said there must be a positive test from laboratory, must be asymptomatic or have very mild form of the disease and no existing chronic health problems.

“There must be adequate space, a separate room from everyone else to stay during this isolation. 

“This space must be well ventilated so that the risk of spreading the disease within the household is decreased and adherence to infection control guidelines,” said Dr. Amoth.

He said no visitor would be allowed in the quarantine room except the caregivers while ensuring that there would be a plan for referral incase the situation of the patient changed.

“There must be a good waste disposal system and cutlery for use to avoid spreading the disease. Not everyone will qualify for home-based care,” he added

Before the roll out, health workers will be trained on home management of the disease.

Counties have also been urged to ensure they heed to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to reach a minimum bed isolation capacity of at least 300, spread across various hospitals.

He urged those who can to work from home to continue doing so, even as he emphasised on importance of individual responsibility as Government considers to open up more.

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