Siaya County Starts Development of New Isolation Ward for COVID-19 Patients

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The county government of Siaya has taken a quick response following president Kenyatta’s remarks on the county’s isolation facilities during the State of The Nation address on Saturday, where he raised an alarm on the capabilities of County governments to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giving the address, the president revealed that the country was not ready to fight the pandemic, exemplifying with Siaya County which he said has a 10-bed capacity isolation ward with already 9 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The county has now started measures to be in line with the required protocols, with the fumigation exercise which started on Monday.

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While overseeing the fumigation exercise in Bondo, Siaya deputy governor James Okumbe said the county is setting up a second 50-bed center in Ugenya sub-county into an isolation ward, which will increase the isolation bed capacity from the current 10 to 60.

Looking like responding to the president’s claim about the county, Dr. Okumbe explained that the county had begun modalities to convert Ugenya to an isolation center before the president’s pronouncement and the facility will soon start admitting patients.

The deputy governor was accompanied by the county health CEO Dorothy Owino and health director Ken Orwenjo. Dr. Owino curbed fear of the low bed capacity saying all the positive cases in the county were from outside Siaya.

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She also told residents not to panic and fully adhere to guidelines issued by the government in order to flatten the spread curve.

“The only way we can win against this virus is if we continue washing our hands, putting on face masks and observing social distance. Let us not get tired of observing health guidelines stipulated by the government.’ Dr. Owino said.

The move comes barely a day before the scheduled meeting of President Uhuru Kenyatta with the 47 governors on Wednesday, where they will discuss modalities in ensuring that each county has at least a 300-bed capacity isolation in an aim of equipping counties in the fight against the pandemic as the spread of the virus continues to soul across counties.


Ian Mugo is a creative and passionate journalist with great interest in politics and governance matters. He is also a sports lover and commentator. Follow him by clicking on the links below.

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