Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe says Kenyatta National Referral Hospital is virtually full of COVID-19 patients.
At a virtual meeting with the Senate Committee on Information and Communication Technology Thursday morning, Kagwe said the ministry is currently expanding the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral & Research Hospital to increase its capacity to cater for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
He said the hospital’s 500 beds are already full, and that the ministry will add more beds to accommodate more patients.
He warned that the country is staring at overwhelmed health facilities by September or October whether private or public hospitals if the COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
The health CS reiterated that COVID-19 patients will not be brought to Nairobi for treatment because chances are Nairobi itself would have been overwhelmed.
He urged County governments to urgently upscale their level of preparedness so as not to be caught off guard.
Kagwe was reacting to concerns by senators among them Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and her Kitui counterpart Enoch Wambua that the ministry ought to allow patients to be brought to Nairobi for treatment.
The two said the ministry’s position was too harsh and it sounded like a punishment to COVID-19 patients.
On his part, the committee chair who is also Baringo Senator Gideon Moi called on all senators to step in to ensure the level of preparedness in counties is satisfactory.