Health workers battling Covid-19 are now being forced to recycle Personal Protective Equipment in a desperate effort to keep the disease at bay while at work. Officials representing health workers narrated to a shocked Senate committee how they no longer get fresh supplies of PPEs but are still required to diagnose and treat Covid- 19 patients. In an attempt to avoid putting their lives on the line, health workers have been recycling gowns, shoe covers, gloves, medical masks and face shields.
The disturbing revelation came just five days after doctors said colleagues who test positive for the disease and are asymptomatic are being forced to treat patients due to the rising cases and a severe shortage of health workers. Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union said hospitals are forcing doctors who are asymptomatic to continue working though they pose the risk of infecting patients.9.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Monday announced the re-opening of 72 murder cases, 44 land displacement cases, 118 cases of threats relating to the 2007/08 post-election violence.
DCI boss George Kinoti said that police would follow up on the cases registered adding that those culpable will be brought to book. More than 1,300 people were recorded to have died in the violence while 650,000 others were displaced. Previous investigations led to two cases at the International Criminal Court as well as multiple others locally. The cases at The Hague collapsed until recently when lawyer Paul Gicheru surrendered for allegedly interfering with witnesses. The move by Gicheru and the DCI are seen as a way of dealing a blow to Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential ambitions.
Kenya must address budget gaps, resource utilization, and the rising debt, financial experts have cautioned. The Institute of Public Finance and the International Budget Partnership Kenya say the country’s budget continues to experience deficits forcing the government to continue borrowing heavily.
Kenya’s public debt currently stands at a new high of Sh7 trillion. This is on the back of low revenues with the Kenya Revenue Authority continuously missing its annual targets.
This year is projected to be worse on the effects of Covid-19 on the economy. In a memorandum to the National Treasury, the think tanks have noted that budget implementation remains a challenge at both the county and national government levels, with monies either failing to be spent as initially intended or siphoned by the corrupt.
The National Treasury is on the spot for delayed release of more than Sh78 billion to counties, thereby disrupting critical services including fight against the coronavirus. The devolved units have not received exchequer disbursements from the Treasury for three months now, a situation that has brought most of them to their knees. Governors have already warned services in the counties could soon come to a halt if the Treasury continues holding onto the funds. Already, a senate committee has summoned ‘Big Five’ players in the devolution arena to discuss teaching challenges including late disbursement of cash by the Treasury to the counties that has affected budget execution.
On Monday, the Controller of Budget disclosed that the counties have only received funds for two months since the beginning of this financial year. Even so, the funds were released in September– nearly three months into the 2020-21 financial year.
Unicef has announced details of a mammoth operation to deliver Covid-19 vaccines to Kenya and other developing countries. The agency says it has contracted more than 350 airlines and freight companies to deliver one billion syringes and the vaccines. At least 500 million syringes will be delivered this, ahead of the vaccines next year.
The agency yesterday said this will be the largest and fastest such operation ever undertaken. The announcement came as more research centres, including the University of Oxford, announced promising results of vaccine trials. Unicef is leading efforts to procure and deliver vaccines from manufacturers that have agreements with the Covax Facility, the WHO-led effort to secure vaccines for poor countries. Kenya expects to receive enough Covid-19 vaccines for 20 per cent of the country’s population.