Covid-19 Patients in Kenya Quarantined in Unfinished Mortuary
Covid-19 patients at a hospital in Embu Municipality in Kenya are allegedly being quarantined in an unsecured and incomplete morgue.
Some leaders and residents of Kiritiri town on Wednesday expressed fear that Kiritiri Level 3 Hospital in Mbeere South subcounty, which already has some suspected Covid-19 patients in quarantine, has no capacity to render such services.
But Embu county’s Health chief officer Grace Muriithi denied allegations that the hospital does not have the capacity to quarantine Covid-19 patients.
The residents led by former Mavuria MCA Joseph Mwaniki, James Mubothi and Madaline Muthoni said the hospital does not have ready and secured wards, security personnel, an ambulance and other equipment for effective management of Covid-19 patients.
Mwaniki, Mubothi and Muthoni said they knew some health workers at the hospitals. They visited the facility and found the pandemic’s patients could not be isolated there.
They said they were alarmed to learn there are already two suspected coronavirus patients from other parts of the county who had been quarantined there.
“We are aware that there is no newly constructed ward which we may say the patients could be quarantined in but only an incomplete mortuary and an unfinished theatre which we suspect could be the only place the patients could be isolated,” Mwaniki said.
The leaders and residents said residents were worried that quarantined patients could escape as had been reported in other parts of the country and infect them. Patients of other diseases fear to seek treatment at the hospital.
They said lack of security officers to guard the hospital was risky. There was no ambulance on standby to rush a patient for further treatment in case of complications.
They urged the county government to withdraw the patient and improve the hospital before turning it into an isolation facility.
Chief officer Muriithi said Kiritiri Level 3 Hospital has a standby, spacious and secluded ward to cater for 29 Covid-19 patients with enough facilities.
She said contrary to allegations, the isolated patients are not held in a mortuary or theatre but that there is a separate and secluded ward for them.
Muriithi said the county was well-prepared with over 158 ready isolation beds in all its levels 5 to 3 hospitals to deal with Covid-19 patients.
She said Kiritiiri hospital is secure and is well-equipped to handle the pandemic.
She assured patients going there for other treatments that they were safe from infection from the quarantined patients as the wards they are using are far and secured and with all the amenities needed.