Kenyan police to undergo compulsory training on coronavirus isolation procedures
London, March 5, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Kenyan government is to begin compulsory training for its police as part of the coronavirus emergency preparedness, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said.
Kagwe said Wednesday that the police need the knowledge and skills to isolate and employ secure measures in some areas should the need arise.
At the same time, counties have intensified their preparedness levels. For instance, Machakos has prepared an isolation ward in Mavoko
Kagwe said collaboration between the county and the national governments has been strengthened to set proper standards for isolation wards and transfer of suspected cases.
“So far God has been kind to Kenya because all the cases we have tested so far were are all negative. We don’t have a single positive case in our country at the moment so we have to keep praying,” Kagwe said.
He said some counties have reserved special ambulances to transport persons with suspected cases.
“We are also cascading these efforts downwards so that even the chiefs and sub-chiefs are part of the process,” Kagwe said.
The CS said that the country has enough protective gear, with the process of the distribution having begun in counties across the country.
He said that the Mbagathi hospital isolation ward is expected to be done by today (Thursday).
The development comes as the World Health Organisation issued a warning of a possible outbreak of the virus in the country.
Health ministry officials held a meeting with the World Bank vice president early this week to share the government’s preparedness plan and outline the existing financing gaps.
“We are in constant touch with WHO and CDC but more importantly we are really glad that the World Bank has come to our aid so the emergency response will be well funded,” Kagwe said.
The CS said the World Bank assured of immediate funding. The country’s efforts are currently funded with a budget from the National Treasury.
Counties have been given two days to outline their requirements and present them to the national government for budgeting.
On Tuesday, the WHO noted the confirmation of the virus in Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal should act as a wakeup call because time is critical.
The WHO officials have described the outbreak in African countries as a ‘once distant threat to public health in Africa that has become a reality’.
According to WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti the meeting was meant to ensure that efforts are coordinated, not duplicated and that scarce resources are used in the most effective way possible.
“We are calling on all countries to invest urgently in preparedness for the arrival of cases, and to prioritise the protection of health workers, individuals at risk, and to communicate better the risks of transmission to their people,” Moeti said.
The WHO now says at this critical juncture, countries must do all they can to ensure they are ready for Covid-19.