Tougher measures as COVID-19 Cases rise to 172

  • A photo of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020.
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020.
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  • The government has announced new measures aimed at combating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In a statement released by the Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday, April 7, he informed that the testing of health workers, including those in private hospitals was to commence immediately.

    "Testing of all health workers, all medical staff including those in private hospitals, rapid response teams and all staff in facilities holding quarantine persons must be commenced with immediate effect," he stated.

    Kagwe told Kenyans that the government was in the possession of proper reagents that have enabled rapid and faster testing as opposed to manual testing thereby granting it the ability to go through the tests faster.

    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe (Left) and his Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi during a press briefing in March 2020.
    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe (Left) and his Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi during a press briefing in March 2020.
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    He insisted that it was important to start with the medical staff on the front line despite the requirements that they are careful given the risks that might be there when handling patients.

    "We must ensure that we have no medical staff treating people while they have the virus thereby passing it to the people, and we must do that with immediate effect," he stated.

    Kagwe also took the onslaught to the sports sector where he claimed that the athletes and other ordinary Kenyans in sports grounds were still lagging behind with respect to social distancing measures.

    To this effect, the CS directed that all those in sporting fields must observe social distancing even as they walk and run. He stated that while it was a healthy exercise, the way it was being conducted was a recipe for disaster.

    "Open-air sporting clubs that have walking fields and so on must strictly observe social distancing. We have observed in some walking clubs where people are running next to each other, and there is no better way to pass this virus than in doing so.

    "I would like to ask the managers of those walking clubs must restrict numbers in the club so that people can be able to observe social distancing," Kagwe added.

    He stated that the measures will be observed for several days before further ones are announced if necessary.

    The Baobab Golf Course in Vipingo.
    The Baobab Golf Course in Vipingo.
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    He further stated that golf clubs had also proved to be a weak link in the fight and directed that they be closed down with immediate effect.

    "Consequently, all golf clubs must be closed with immediate effect. Golfers are free to walk keeping social distances but there will be no caddies in those golf clubs.

    "In this particular case, it actually is the reverse. It is the members who will eventually pass the virus to the caddies and therefore golf clubs will remain closed and so will be clubhouses," Kagwe concluded.

    Kagwe informed Kenyans that despite the measures that the government was undertaking to curtail the spread, there was still no escaping the fact that the disease is already in the people's midst.

    He insisted that despite the low rate of infections, Kenyans must hope for the best and prepare for the worst going forward.