BRIEFING NO. 15/2020 ON STATUS OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) IN MANDERA COUNTY BY H.E. CAPT. ALI IBRAHIM ROBA ON 23RD NOVEMBER, 2020 AT MANDERA COUNTY HEADQUARTERS.
Assalam aleikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press welcome to our press briefing this afternoon whose focus is the county Covid-19 update with statistics of total and new cases including death toll. The situation is getting worse with more deaths being reported and more patients are being taken ill having contracted coronavirus. Here in Mandera County, the numbers are showing an upward trajectory on daily basis. As of today we the confirmed Covid-19 positive numbers stand at 90 since April. We have experienced 6 deaths including a patient who died at ESCRH. Although 17 people recovered and were discharged and we thank Almighty Allah for this, we still have 40 patients under home based care and 3 others in our isolation facilities.
The most alarming situation is report of deaths in community in Mandera East and Mandera South with symptoms showing difficulty in breathing. Although these community deaths are of persons who did not come to public health facilities, we assume there is a high possibility that this might be attributed to Covid-19 based on the symptoms reported by their families. We have sent more supplies of PPEs to all sub-county hospitals and have up scaled our Covid-19 response program both in terms of supplies and personnel. We urge members of the public to seek medical attention at the nearest health facility as soon as you suspect to have these Covid-19 symptoms.
There is no shame or stigma in seeking medical help if you feel any signs or symptoms of Corona Virus as soon as possible. Covid- 19 is sparing no one has no segregation it can affect anyone. You have seen sports personalities, religious leaders, MPs, MCAs and everyone like you and me, being isolated after having contracted the diseases.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is important to note that all the people who died of Covid-19 in Mandera had pre-existing conditions of diabetes or Hypertension. With this hind sight, we advise our people to come to health facilities early enough and regularly for medical check- up. Don’t wait for situation to worsen before seeking health services. Widespread mass testing with results being received within hours from our Covid-19 laboratory has been a key strategy for containing the disease. Previously, we used to wait for days sometimes experiencing a turnaround period of up to one week. We used to spend a fortune to collect and fly samples to Nairobi during lock down. We remain grateful to KEMRI and the National Ministry of Health for this great support. We do not take the support for granted.
Mandera County Government has set aside a 29-bed isolation facility with piped oxygen and all equipment dedicated to health workers who fall sick. We will fix 4 life support machines in this isolation in case of need. As a county we are committed to protecting of both patients and our healthcare workers. We have been extremely diligent and consistent in making sure we have sufficient supplies of PPEs for our healthcare workers in the course of duty throughout this period. Mandera County will upscale more supplies to meet emerging demands in order to protect our healthcare workforce.
It is important for our public to understand that the best protection is not from health facilities but from God and from the protection provided by individuals by adhering to the Covid-19 Protocol as advised by our healthcare workers. We must practice social distancing, regularly washing our hands with soap at least for not less than 20 seconds, wearing masks at all times when in public, avoiding crowded environments, please do not leave your home if you can avoid it. We are also advised to cover our coughs and sneezes using your elbow among others. Let me announce that testing for covid-19 is free at our designated health facilities. Please take the opportunity to know your status regularly by visiting our centre.
By now all of us have at least lost someone who is either known to us or is a relative within the country and abroad so you should believe without any doubt that Covid-19 is real and is here with us for long. It is critical that we believe this and accept that we have personal responsibilities to protect ourselves and others around us. The main fight against Covid-19 is at community level and we urge our people to take personal initiative to prevent contracting Covid-19. There is nothing the healthcare workers can do for you in stopping you from contracting the virus. Hospitals can only help where possible when you report to them with signs but it is your responsibility to protect yourself by practicing self-discipline and adhering to the advice given to you on Covid- 19 protocols. Remember, the more people who wear masks and follow all the protocols, the more we all stay safer.
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