Kenya is projecting that its confirmed cases of COVID-19 might hit the 100 mark by the end of next month.
The east African nation’s Director of Public Health, Dr Patrick Amoth says the government’s proposition shows that by the end of this week, the country’s cases that are currently at 50 will rise to 1000.
Protective gear for health workers
As a global shortage of protective gear for health workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic continues, African countries are now looking for home-made solutions to continue saving lives.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, announced on Sunday that the country would start producing its own protective gear and that it is in talks with motor companies in the country to produce ventilators.
Last week, Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma donated Personal Protective Equipment, (PPEs) to all African countries.
The Ma Foundation’s donations include 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks and 60 000 protective suits and face shields. The consignment could not have come at a better time.
Although Africa is last to report cases of COVID-19, the numbers are rising and there are fears that Africa is ill- prepared to contain the spread of the virus.
“We have to win the battle against COVID-19 in Africa because it is going to be devastating, on humanitarian side, on the economic side and the security side. This is a serious challenge for the continent,” says Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention in Africa Director General Dr John Nkangesong.
In the video, AU’s Salomon Dersso speaks about the Comission Chair, Mousaa Faki Mahammat who us under quarantine:
WHO warns of shortages
The World Health Organisation has warned that shortages of personal protective equipment could leave frontline health workers at risk of contracting the disease.
“The chronic global shortage of personal protective equipment is now one of the most urgent threats to our collective ability to save lives. The WHO has shipped almost two million items of protective gear to 74 countries that need it most and we’re preparing to send a similar amount to a further 60 counties. But much more is needed. This problem can only be solved with international cooperation and international solidarity. When health workers are at risk, we are all at risk. Health workers in low and middle income countries deserve the same protection as those in the wealthiest countries,” says World Health Organisation’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom.
Kenya is now seeking to produce some of these items locally as the global shortage may make it difficult for the East African nation to import the needed supplies.
“There are more than 50 companies that are capable of providing some of these medical inputs. We started with sanitisers. Our textile sector has confirmed that they have that capacity (to produce),” says Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industrialisation Betty Maina.
Kenya has avoided a complete lockdown, allowing casual labourers to work during the day. A huge percentage of the country’s population depends on a daily wage for survival.