UPDATE Sunday, March 1: Newly sworn-in Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has hit the ground running with a declaration that the National Response Committee on coronavirus will set up emergency response centres in every county.
This announcement comes barely two days after the president appointed him to chair the ad-hoc committee on health in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Capital FM was first to report on Sunday, March 1, that the health centres would be set up to ensure that the country was well prepared in the case of a coronavirus outbreak.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, February 28 presided over the swearing-in Health Cabinet Mutahi Kagwe and Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina.Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during his swearing in ceremony at State House on Friday, 28, 2020PSCU
He then appointed Kagwe to chair the Ad-Hoc Committee on health and the inter-ministerial technical committee on government response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
During his vetting in Parliament on February 20, CS Mutahi told MPs that he would tackle the coronavirus scare with "military precision."
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, February 28, 2020, established the National Emergency Committee on Coronavirus which was tasked with the role of monitoring the risk posed by the fast-spreading virus.
In an executive order seen by Kenyans.co.ke, President Kenyatta appointed Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to head the team tasked to coordinate Kenya’s preparedness, prevention and response to the epidemic.
"Having found it both prudent and necessary to establish a framework to upscale and coordinate Kenya's preparedness and national response to the Coronavirus threat," read the statement.
The president also ordered for an immediate revamping of isolation centres in national and county facilities in readiness for any Coronavirus case.
"The national isolation and treatment facility at Mbagathi be completed and ready to receive patients within seven days from the date hereof.
"That the identification and preparation of isolation treatment facilities in Level IV and referral hospitals be completed before March 15," read the order.
The president also announced the dissolution of the former Coronavirus committee earlier formed under the Ministry of Health.
"The cabinet Ad-hoc committee on health and the inter-ministerial technical committee on government response to the Coronavirus outbreak are hereby subsumed into the national response committee and thereby dissolved.
“There is a significant threat arising from the potential spread of the coronavirus to Kenya from countries that have new and ongoing outbreaks of the pneumatic disease,” his statement reads.
The committee will be chaired by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe. Other members include Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo, Transport CS James Macharia, Defence CS Monicah Juma, and ICT CS Joe Mucheru.
Others include chairperson of the Health Committee at the council of governors, Principal secretary Interior affairs, chief of staff at the office of the president and the principal administrative secretary in the office of the president.
Others selected are Principal Secretaries in the ministries of Health, National Treasury, Transport, Foreign Affairs and ICT.
The secretariat also includes the government spokesman and the director of public health.
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