The fight against Covid-19 is threatening to overwhelm healthcare resources in the country as the coronavirus pandemic burrows deeper nationwide.

The severity of the disease is straining resources, causing burnout among health workers, some of whom have also been infected. So far, more than 450 frontline workers have tested positive while four have died.

A nationwide assessment of how Covid-19 has impacted the healthcare system shows that most county hospitals are stretched to the limit.

On Wednesday, the Council of Governors (CoG) chairman, Mr Wycliffe Oparanya, painted a gory picture of the country’s health sector and called for support from the national government.

From withdrawal of ambulance services due to lack of funding to lack of testing kits, the Kakamega County boss called for the speedy operationalisation of the insurance package for frontline health workers that was recommended by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

ISOLATION UNIT

The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Isolation Unit in Mbagathi is overwhelmed and will no longer take referrals.

In a memo to all directors and heads of departments, the senior director of clinical services at KNH, Dr Irene Inwani, said following the decision the Mbagathi isolation unit will only admit confirmed cases, the unit will not handle ‘suspected cases’ or screen the public.

“The unit will not receive referrals from the counties as directed by the ministry of Health on July 8, 2020, unless under special circumstances,” she said.

A burdened health care system is taking a toll on its workers.

At the Lamu County King Fahad Referral Hospital, workers have downed their tools, citing poor working conditions that are exposing them to Covid-19. Six of them have contracted the virus.