My contribution to the measures put in place to contain the Covid-19 Pandemic. Urged the Ministry to change strategy on COVID-19 Pandemic.

  1. As it is now public knowledge, the COVID-19 Pandemic is now at community transmission level. What we feared most is now unravelling right in front of our eyes if the statistics presented over the weekend by the Ministry of Health is anything to go by.
  2. We are now approaching a thousand cases per day infection cases and 20,000 COVID cases mark is just around the corner. What is even worrying is that the infection rate has gone as high as 30% in some counties when just in the recent past we had less than 10% infection rate. The mortality rate has also gone up and we are losing many Kenyans in a single day. What is even frightening is that although in the past the mortality rate was associated with patients with pre-existing conditions, this is no longer the case and we are now all at risk, young or old, healthy or unhealthy.
  3. In the meantime, our public and private hospitals have been over run. We have been seeing in the media reports of Kenyans unable to access medical treatment and this may explain the preference for home based care which has also been said to be largely unsupervised hence ineffective.
  4. Inspection reports in the counties even tell of more scary stories with only five counties having 300 isolation beds capacity with few or no ICU beds at all.
  5. We are staring at a fast approaching catastrophic pandemic in this country if we continue with the same approach. Whereas we laud the Ministry of Health for their efforts so far, we have now to change tactic.
  6. We cannot continue steering a ship to a direction where a hurricane is building up. We have to change the co-ordinates.
  7. Day after day we see the Ministry of Health reading out the statistics for the day which is good to keep us informed. However, the media briefings must now take cognizant of the fact that the COVID-19 Pandemic is already treating us abnormally.
  8. The Ministry of Health must come up with measures and plans and quickly deal with the growing Pandemic. Failure to do so, I am sorry we will be heading south like our brothers in South Africa who are now reporting 500 COVID deaths per day. Without treatment, we might also end up like Bolvia who I am told in a single day health officials collected over 400 bodies in streets of people having just dropped dead of COVID-19. This should not be our story. We still have time to turn the tide.
  9. Just recently this House allocated over 3Billion shillings for combatting the Pandemic. This need to be utilised quickly by setting up a COVID-19 Hospital or alternatively equipping our existing referral hospitals. We need a more structured home based care system not the one which Kenyans are trying what they know to contain the disease without the Ministry’s involvement. If this is not done, we are about to see more home based care deaths and increase in community transmission. It is obvious we need more ICU beds. The Ministry also needs to deploy more medical officers and engage in rapid mass testing.
  10. Talking of testing the testing our country has been undertaking since we reported our first case cannot be said to be mass testing noting the highest we have ever gotten to was this weekend with just over 8000 being tested. In countries that have managed to contain the disease, mass testing then isolating the cases has been the best bet to contain the pandemic. The speed with which we are doing the same has given room for rapid community transmission.
  11. Consequently, the Ministry needs to tell us about tangible plans to contain the Pandemic not just reading for us cases every day. Kenyans are tired of this. Is like we are burying our heads in the sand hoping for a miracle. If the Ministry needs more resources nothing stops the Ministry from appropriating under Article 223 if need be and seeking approval from this House thereafter. All I am saying, its time from the Ministry to rise up and act.
  12. The question that arises is therefore, what is our best bet to contain and combat the spreading Pandemic? Simply, the Ministry needs to create an environment where Wanjiku can to access treatment in a hospital if infected without being turned away for lack of a hospital bed. Wanjiku needs to have access to an ICU bed if conditions worsen. Wanjiku if asymptomatic needs to have full knowledge how to undertake homebased care and have access to medical supervision. Wanjiku has a right to be tested for the disease. Contact tracing needs to be deployed. If such an environment is created, then the Pandemic will have no option but take the downward curve.
  13. It is also notable that as a House we are also under threat now that several cases having been reported in this House among staff and MPs. It is time we therefore re-examined whether we should continually sit as usual or isolate the pending important business of the House and do special sittings to dispense with such business. It is my submission that we should consider holding special sittings for considering urgent and priority business only. If we continue with business as usual, we will also not have a 12th Parliament to talk of after the Pandemic.
  14. As I conclude, I urge the Ministry to change strategy on COVID-19 Pandemic. Its spreading like bushfire, let it do all it can to stop the fire and not just sitting and reporting every day how far the fire has spread and how many trees have been burnt. The plans cannot also surely be about buying body bags in preparation of deaths as we have read in media reports. This is defeatist approach to the Pandemic. The Ministry must act now and act fast. Otherwise we will have no Wanjiku to talk of and talk to. We will have no one to give us the media reports. There will be no Wanjiku to vote for BBI. Do something now. The time is now. You owe Wanjiku the duty to do everything to protect her survival. This is a matter of life and death.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s