H.E. Capt. ALI ROBA ON COVID-19 STATUS IN MANDERA COUNTY.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to our counties’ Covid-19 situation report. Today marks the 80th day since the index case of the Novel CoronaVirus was reported in Mandera County (That is from 5th April, 2020 to date). Our early state of preparedness and mobilization of all available resources, both financial and human resource as well as planning and rapid intervention, has seen us overcome all odds to contain this dangerous situation. Along the way, we have screened a total of 97,502 people at various points of entry and exit, conducted a total of 729 tests out of which 18 were confirmed Covid-19 positive, quarantined a total of 334 including 176 contacts of the confirmed cases and 158 travelers from outside our County. We thank the almighty, that, out of the 18 confirmed cases, 17 have been discharged after full recovery and the remaining one person is only awaiting validation result. It has not been an easy task, and the danger is still present and real.
Across the border in BullaHawa, reports of upsurge in Covid 19 cases and even deaths are being reported. We must therefore maintain the same level of vigilance and not relax. We encourage our people to adhere to guidelines given by ministry of health in terms of hand washing, use of mask in public places and social distancing.
In line with H.E the President directive to all counties to increase bed capacity to 300, we now have a total of 190 beds ready and have operationalized two stand- alone Covid 19 dedicated facilities in Mandera East, which is Kamor infectious disease hospital and Mandera rehabilitation center. We will procure the remaining110 beds as soon as possible and also set aside the new A&E complex at Elwak Sub County Hospital as the third facility to handle any surge in cases of Covid 19. While we have done our best under very difficult circumstances, challenges still remain that hinder our efficient reponse and which the MOH-NG needs to urgently address. This include;
1. Availing testing capacity to Mandera: Mandera is over 1200 km away from Nairobi, and on a triangle border where previous disease spillover from neighboring countries have been routinely happening. It is not tenable to send samples to Nairobi anymore in view of costs and the road to Wajir is replete with the dangers of insecurity. The delays in processing of samples sent to Nairobi is also a big hindrance to timely interventions. Case example is the sample sent on 19th June via flight is yet to be released 5 days down the line. I call upon the MOH-NG to urgently look into this matter of installing testing capacity and expeditiously resolve it.
2. Resources: The National Assembly allocated an amount of money to Mandera County Referral Hospital due to many challenges faced and the fact that we were among the first counties to be affected by COVID-19.
I call upon MOH to release this fund in full so that we can better manage any upsurge in cases as the projected peak is months away and Covid 19 is a long-term fight.
Finally Let me take this opportunity to thank all those who worked tirelessly to ensure we flatten the curve especially the ministry of health staff who worked day and night to ensure we contain the situation, the multi- agency task force deployed to sub counties, our security personnel, non- state actors as well as leaders and all Mandera people for complying with directives and playing their civic duties of staying safe. Ladies and gentlemen, as the people of Mandera, we need to know that it is not yet time to celebrate and that Covid-19 is still an existential danger, and therefore we need to remain vigilant.