Kenya is yet to meet the requisite standards of manufacturing the personal protective equipment (PPEs) in the fight against coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health who toured the Export Processing Zone in Athi River said the prototype produced was not waterproof and therefore needed modification.
With preparations for mass production of personal protective equipment for health workers currently on the forefront of fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Kenya is readying itself to mass-produce the gear.
The country, however, seems to be falling behind in meeting the required standards of producing prototype gears such as coats, overalls, scrubs and aprons.
This comes as the government revealed that a full kit of PPEs for health workers would cost Ksh 20,000.
The surgical and community masks manufactured at EPZ have however been approved for mass production.
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna on Tuesday said as much as members of the public are being encouraged to have face masks while in public places, they must ensure they are of the right quality.
Oguna said so far three local factories have been authorized to produce the masks in the country.
They are based in Nakuru, Kitui and Machakos (in Athi River) counties.
“Right now they are producing the prototypes and once approved, they will now embark on mass production,” Oguna told journalists.
He said they have assessed the current masks being produced and established a few gaps that need to be closed.
The demand for community masks is also on the rise as Kenyans are being warned not to fit the masks before purchase to avoid further spread of the virus.
Last week Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said already more than one million masks had been manufactured and were at various levels of the distribution channel.
“Form the indication we have received from the manufactures and the retailers and based on the volume expected, we don’t expect any of these masks available for sale to sell for more than Ksh 20,” Maina said.
“I am sure people will be able to be very innovative about it and I am certain some prices could even come as low as Ksh 5.”