We will cater for Covid-19 treatment cost, says State

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Chief Administrative Secretary for Health Rashid Aman addresses the media on coronavirus. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

The government has assured that it will cater for the cost of treating Covid-19 patients in public hospitals, as 62 more people tested positive for the disease.

At the same time, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman raised concern that people were avoiding going for tests for fear of shouldering the cost of testing, quarantining and treatment.

“We commend those who have continued to go out for mass testing as it is the surest way to know the Covid-19 curve and the magnitude of spread in the country.

We have, however, noted that some of our people have been reluctant to present themselves for testing for fear of the treatment cost.

The position of the government on this issue is clear and for avoidance of doubt, the government caters for the cost of testing, quarantine and treatment in public facilities,” he said.

On the case of two patients who have allegedly been detained at Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital due to accrued hospital bills, Aman said the ministry would investigate and resolve the issue.

At the same time, he expressed concern over Kenyans who are giving false details during Covid-19 testing making it difficult to trace contracts.

Stop spread

He warned that this could deal a blow to the government’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“There is a disturbing and dangerous behaviour of persons giving false contacts during targeted testing. Providing wrong information makes such individuals continue to spread the virus to their loved ones, friends and the community,” said Aman.

He appealed to Kenyans to give accurate information because it is through it that the government will be able to trace those who test positive to avoid mass spreading.

Aman said the current gains could very easily be eroded if Kenyans do not remain focused, and strictly observe these containment measures.

In the last 24 hours, the government tested 2,293 samples with 62 turning positive bringing the number of positive cases to 1,348. The total number of tested samples in the country stands at 64,264.

Three more patients recovered bringing the number of recoveries to 405 with the number of fatalities remaining at 52.

Out of the positive cases, 59 are Kenyans while  three are foreigners with 45 males and 17 females aged between six and 64 years

According to Health Acting Director General Dr Patrick Amoth, community deaths associated with Covid-19 have reduced, which means the level of awareness has increased.

 In terms of counties distribution; Nairobi recorded 23 cases, Mombasa 16, Kwale eight, Kiambu eight, Kajiado six and Kitui three.

 In Nairobi, the cases are distributed in the following sub counties; Embakasi West (six), Kibra (six), Estleigh (three), Dagoretti North (two), Langata (two), Westlands (two), Starehe, Embakasi East one case each.

 In Mombasa the cases are distributed in Changamwe (nine), Jomvu (three), Nyali (three) and Mvita (one).

Easing measures

In Kwale, Msambweni and Lunga Lunga have four each.  This came as the coast region is getting ready for the expected easing of coronavirus restrictions across the country.

Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata told a press conference in his office yesterday that the region is preparing for the opening up of the economy including the jump-starting of multi-billion-shilling development projects.

Elungata said the anticipated re-opening of the economy and the removal of a number of restrictions such as the movement of the people will be done alongside public health interventions.

 In Kiambu county  five cases were reported in Lari and Ruiru one while Kajiado has four in Kajiado Central and one in Kajiado East. In Kitui, the three cases are in Miambani rural.

On the Ministry of Health projections of Covid-19 cases, Aman said they are meant to inform government response and not cause panic. 

“We had earlier projected of 10,000 cases and now reviewed to 2,000 a day by August and September. Modeling is a process to guide and project what to happen, it depends on partial data and assumption,” he said.

He said it is not an exact science but it helps in planning for the worst scenario, adding that World Health Organisation has also reviewed down cases of Covid-19 in the African continent.

On curfew and restriction in movement across the country, Transport Cabinet secretary James Macharia said various committees on Covid-19 continue to review it and give President Uhuru Kenyatta report.

“To that effect, the President will give a pronouncement on the way forward in his address to the nation,” he said.

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