Govt to establish coronavirus response centres in counties – Kagwe

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Sunday said the government will work with county administrations to establish an emergency response centre in each devolved unit, as part of additional measures to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Speaking during a press conference at the Harambee House, Kagwe said that the government is ready and continues to enhance its surveillance at all points of entry, not only in Nairobi but also in other regions.

He further pointed out a 120-bed ward facility at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi to be used as an isolation centre for coronavirus cases will be completed by Friday as ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We are constantly working, and we have resolved on many issues of readiness on matters of surveillance on our points of entry and not just Nairobi port. We have decided to extend our surveillance to other parts of the country where we have entry points such us Mombasa, Busia, Kisumu and others,” said Kagwe.

“There is no guarantee that the virus can only find itself through Nairobi therefore together with the council of governors we are in cooperation to ensure emergency response centres have been established in the counties,” he said.

The CS further pointed out that the government is engaging the World Health Organization(WHO) to enhance surveillance of other passengers from other countries apart from those coming from China.

On evacuation of Kenyan students who are in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, Kagwe maintained that the matter is still being discussed and and a solution will soon be found.

However, Kagwe reiterated that the government is taking care of their needs and besides the Sh15,000 stipend given to each a few weeks ago, they will be receiving additional Sh10,000 for their upkeep.

So far, the deadly virus has left over 3000 people dead and infected more than 83,000 others globally.

On Friday, President Kenyatta issued an Executive Order directing that the 120-bed ward facility at Mbagathi be completed within the next seven days.

The President’s measures came amid public uproar over concerns on the government’s readiness to deal with the virus that originated from China.

The Kenyan government had said it was not planning to ban flights from China over coronavirus fears, insisting it is following WHO guidelines in managing the situation.

However, the arrival of a flight from China prompted the Law Society of Kenya to file suit in court seeking to compel the government to bar landings from China.

The High Court subsequently issued an order barring flights from China for 10 days, until the urgent case is determined