- Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Tuesday, April 1, announced his disappointment and frustration with the national government for delaying his efforts to start testing his county residents for Covid-19.
Speaking on Citizen TV via video link, the governor stated that he had sought approval on March 18, to commence the testing exercise with little progress to date.
"We've not gotten the approval and we are quite disappointed because we have ensured that all our lab equipment is functioning.
"We have also ensured that we have everything in place and officers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) have been saying that they're going to send experts to come and look at our capacity for approval but up to today, we have not had a single visit. We call them every single day but maybe they are overwhelmed so we are still waiting," he lamented.File image of a Covid-19 testing kit.
Quizzed on what could be the problem, Governor Mutua was quick to point out that the need to have absolute control of disease within the country could prove costly.
"I think the problem is the sickness we have in this country of centralization. They try to centralize everything until it becomes a matter of no return.
"Now they'll just wait until things get really bad and then they'll start running to us in Machakos. We don't seem to think about planning ahead, we wait until the last minute, then we respond," the governor explained
He urged the national government to send in the medical experts needed to approve his testing centres.
The Machakos County head went on to announce that he was about to convene a meeting during which measures to protect the county from the virus would be discussed in detail.
"We are thinking that very soon we may have to set up controls on all entry points to Machakos so that we can test people, whoever has abnormal temperature, will have to go back," he revealed.
He then confirmed that he had reversed his previous decision to ban the use of boda bodas, tuk tuks and Marutis following Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe's recent directive regarding the motorcycle operators.
In his new directive, the governor allowed the operators back on the road under strict instructions.
"The boda bodas will only be allowed to carry one passenger and they must both be in helmets and masks. Tuk tuks will only be allowed to carry two passengers seated far apart, and the Marutis which used to carry seven passengers will now only be allowed to carry three," he decreed.
Governor Mutua then revealed that his county's testing capacity could process 50 to 100 potential cases within a span of 6 to 10 hours, adding that the equipment available in Machakos was exactly the same as those being used at the testing centres in Nairobi.Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna addresses the media at Kenyatta National Hospital on Saturday, March 14, 2020Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
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