The community transmission of the infections is expected to steadily climb after the cessation of movements to major hotspots like Nairobi and Mombasa were lifted and people expected to travel to countryside and interact freely. The county preparedness now is on the spot if it can handle the surge in the cases.
The capacity of medical workers adequately trained, the availability of PPEs, number of the Coronavirus specific ICU beds and so on are some of the key determinants of the level of preparedness of each county. Besides Nairobi county which is well prepared, the other counties are wallowing in the inadequacies and will likely expose patients to deaths if cases rise.
If you contract coronavirus in Vihiga, Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu, Tana River and Embu that escalate to complications and require treatment in ICU or ventilation machine, patients may easily succumb due to unavailability of these facilities, lack of ICU beds and lack of preparedness by the officials.
Council of Governors in the report says that there are only 442 ICU beds and 437 ventilators which are inadequate even as cases surging daily and projections indicating the rise in cases. The residents in Makueni, Kilifi, Turkana, Busia, Bomet, Garissa and Uasin Gishu who may get infected will be in higher risks when they develop the complications as the counties have less than 10 ICU beds in their hospital wards. Kisii, Nakuru, Trans-Nzoia, Kiambu and Nyandarua are nit any better as they have less than 15 ICU beds.
The counties better prepared after Nairobi are Machakos with 30 ICU beds and Muranga with 35. With the surge in the infection rates, the county preparedness is distressing and many people lives are in line of this ill-preparedness. The health cabinet secretary has consistently fronted the county preparedness as the ultimate line of defense even as the national government facilities largely in Nairobi are already overwhelmed.
The threshold for counties to be considered better prepared is at least 300 beds in their isolation centers, ICU beds and ventilators. Unfortunately, only 26 of 47 counties have achieved and the rest still grappling with procurement nightmares, corruption, mismanagement and utter poor leadership which will grossly impact the lives of people.
Nairobi, Mombasa, Machakos, Bungoma, Laikipia, Garissa are leading the pack with over 400 beds thus painting a positive trajectory in the preparedness with other 10 counties achieving the 300-bed mark threshold.
Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisumu, Samburu, Nyamira, Embu, Isiolo, Kajiado, Turkana, Wajir, Lamu, Marsabit, Migori, Meru, Taita-Taveta are among the counties that have not met the target.
The counties on this regard cannot afford lackluster and squabbles and should achieve the targets earliest possible to avert the catastrophe of mass deaths. The United States with its superior financial muscle, health and technology advancement is currently grappling with highest fatalities in the whole world and ill-preparedness from counties may lead us to that catastrophic path which we cannot afford.
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