Covid-19 Cripples Coastal Region Operations As Schools, Hospitals Close Doors

KEY POINTS:

  • The second wave of Covid-19 has taken a very serious toll in the Coast region forcing schools, hospitals and county governments to shut down its offices.
  • On Friday, a nurse died at Likoni Sub-county Hospital forcing a shutdown of the facility. Reports indicate eight other nurses have also tested positive for the virus.
  • In Kilifi, the county government closed a number of departments after several employees tested positive while in Tana River, a private school in Hola was closed after a pupil came down with symptoms of the virus.

The second wave of Covid-19 has taken a very serious toll in the Coast region forcing schools, hospitals and county governments to shut down its offices.

On Friday, a nurse died at Likoni Sub-county Hospital forcing a shutdown of the facility. Reports indicate eight other nurses have also tested positive for the virus.

In Kilifi, the county government closed a number of departments after several employees tested positive while in Tana River, a private school in Hola was closed after a pupil came down with symptoms of the virus.

Broadway Academy in Tana River was closed after a pupil was suspected to have contracted the virus.

The school was deserted on Friday after reports one pupil had tested positive with parents withdrawing their children from the institution.

But Health Executive Javan Bonaya said the 10-year-old pupil had Covid-19-like symptoms, but they were still waiting for the outcome of samples taken to Kenya Medical Research Institute laboratory in Kilifi.

“We are yet to establish whether the pupil had Coronavirus, but we will not take chances, we have quarantined all pupils and teachers,” said Bonaya.

He said health personnel have been dispatched to the school to take samples for testing.

Yesterday when the media visited the institution, only a few pupils without masks were playing in the compound.

On Thursday, Killifi County Government ordered an immediate scale down of its workforce due to increasing virus infections among its officers.

Governor Amason Kingi, while issuing the directive, said six senior officers at the county government had contracted the virus, hence the rapid measures to minimise infections.

Kingi said the new spike of infections was as a result of residents loosening the noose on guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health that has the county record at least 504 Covid-19 positive cases since the pandemic struck. Some 404 of the cases were registered between August and October.

“Officers of the county government will be working from home and only those in critical sectors will be allowed to access offices. We are doing this because the six officers who got infected must have gotten the virus from people seeking services in our offices,” said Kingi, adding that all county buildings will be fumigated.

He said 24 health officers had contracted the virus and directed the department of Health to employ extra personnel as the new wave of the virus had seen a spike in cases.

Likoni Sub-county Hospital was shut down last Friday after one nurse died.

It was followed by Shika Adabu hospital that was closed on Tuesday after some staff tested positive.

The hospital had more than 15 health workers and sources said two of them tested positive.

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Shika Adabu health facility, which borders Kwale and Mombasa counties is important to residents and provides services to more than 500 patients.

Likoni hospital is the only main facility in the densely populated sub-county and it provides services to at least 1,000 patients daily.

The hospital administrator, Kimara Nyadegwa, revealed they were only attending to those in critical condition as they were overwhelmed by the surge in numbers. Health workers who requested anonymity blamed the management for not providing enough personal protective gears.

One of the health workers in the maternity wing and who is in isolation said they had been exposed to the virus due to inadequate supply of PPE.

Only one government facility, Mrima health centre, is still operating and the staff are worried.

Aisha Mohammed who was in labour, had just been dropped at the gate by a boda boda rider when the security guard turned her away.

Aisha fainted and was rushed to a private hospital, which was some two kilometres away from the main gate.

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