Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called a special meeting of the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) on Monday to review, among other issues, the rise of the Covid-19 deaths and cases in the country.
In a statement to newsrooms, CS Kagwe described seven days lapsing on Sunday as the darkest period since the first case of the virus was reported in March.
The country has been losing over twenty people a day with four doctors being among twenty-one virus-related deaths reported within a 24-hour period ending on Saturday.
Kagwe said NERC will discuss matters touching on Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare workers even as the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) issued a 21-day strike notice on Sunday.
“I want to state that that this has been a very bad week for us since the pandemic struck our country March this year. It culminated with the loss of four doctors yesterday,” Kagwe said.
“We shall deliberate on issues affecting healthcare workers countrywide including the supply of the PPEs and other enabling measures as they go about combating the virus among our people.”
KMPDU accused the government of neglect saying its members on the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus were being exposed due to unavailability of sufficient protective equipment.
“Over the last 8 months KMPDU has continuously engaged all relevant government ministries, parastatals and council of governors, the legislature and followed all relevant channels in employment and labor relations in a bid to address the plight of frontline healthcare workers. The union had put the industrial action off the table but now we have been forced to review our options,” said Chibanzi Mwachonda, the union’s Secretary-General.
He faulted the government for failing to address the plight of doctors, leading to the deaths of at least 30 medical workers. They include 10 senior specialists’ doctors.
The country has been recording high number of fatalities in recent days averaging at least 20 cases daily.
On Sunday Covid-19 pandemic claimed 20 lives pushing the fatalities further to 1,269.
Kagwe said the caseload has also increased to 70,245 cases, after 972 people turned positive of the disease.
The new cases were detected from a sample size of 6, 648 tested across the country.
Meanwhile, 352 patients recovered from the disease, 253 of them being from the Home-Based care programme, raising the total recoveries to 45, 766.