President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Monday he will convene a crisis meeting on Friday to review the surge in COVID-19 infections across the country.

Kenya’s State House spokesperson Kanze Dena said the fifth extraordinary session of the national and county governments coordinating summit will assess the counties’ state of preparedness within the wider national response to the pandemic and evaluate Kenya’s overall national response and capacity.

“The session has been convened following a surge of COVID-19 infections across our nation, with the disease having now manifested in 44 of our 47 counties,” Dena said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

She said the meeting will consider the evolution of the disease and the medical models on how COVID-19 may propagate within the country over the months of August and September.

“His Excellency calls on all Kenyans to continue applying the simple but yet most effective individual and collective measures that are our nation’s best weapon against COVID-19,” said Dena.

According to Dena, Kenyatta called on Kenyans to continue correctly wearing facemasks while in public spaces, apply correct face and hand hygiene at all times, and cooperate with the physical and social distancing guidelines and protocols.

The move came as the Ministry of Health on Monday announced 418 more new COVID-19 cases, raising Kenya’s tally to 13,771.

Rashid Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Health said 494 more patients were discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country so far to 5,616.

Four patients had succumbed to the deadly virus, raising the death toll to 238. The cumulative number of samples tested in Kenya stood at 246,361, said Aman.

Aman said the country’s two populous counties, Nairobi and Mombasa, continue to have the highest infection rate in the country and this should be enough evidence for Kenyans to adhere to the COVID-19 social distancing measures and curfew regulations.

He noted that virus community transmission has taken root in most counties with only three out of the 47 yet to report any cases.

Aman confirmed that 526 healthcare workers have so far been infected since the outbreak of the disease.

Meanwhile, The Nairobi Hospital (TNH) has entered into a strategic partnership with the United Nations Office Nairobi (UNON) to increase its COVID-19 care capacity.

The two sides on Monday commissioned the construction of the 150-bed facility at the hospital. It will have a top range of medical facilities including ICU beds, HDU beds, and an operation theatre, laboratory as well as radiology diagnostics.

Raychelle Omamo, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs said the facility will be able to cater to Kenyans as well as the over 20,000 UN staff based in Kenya, Africa and beyond.

UNON Director General Zainab Hawa Bangura said the organization is set to complete the facility within two months.

Bangura further said that the construction of the facility in Nairobi demonstrates Kenya’s leadership in medical professionalism in the region.

“The agreement to build this treatment facility in Kenya underscores the United Nations’ faith in Kenya’s human resource as well as expertise. It is also a reflection of Nairobi’s role as a key peace-keeping humanitarian and development hub for Africa,” she added.

The Nairobi Hospital CEO Allan Pamba assured members of the public that the COVID-19 treatment facility will be open to all Kenyans, and not restricted to the United Nations and diplomatic personnel and their families only. Enditem

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