The Ministry of Health is working to releasing COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic to be cared for in their homes to decongest the health facilities in the next one week.
When Machakos governor Alfred Mutua embarked on turning a stadium into a hospital, a number of Kenyans thought he was overreacting but the rate in which Mbagathi and Kenyatta University COVID-19 isolation wards have filled up might have the government copying the move.
At only 2,340 COVID-19 cases, hospitals set aside to handle the infections are filling up especially in Nairobi and the Ministry of Health is already considering having the COVID-19 patients released to undergo medical care at home.
The Ministry of Health has revealed, in not so many words, that the Mbagathi Hospital and the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital are nearly filled to capacity.
The Ministry of Health is hence reconsidering sending home some of the patients to be cared for in their homes as the number of COVID-19 infections reported every day continues to rise by every 24 hours.
Speaking during the daily COVID-19 press briefing, the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that a majority of the patients were asymptomatic and could easily be cared for at home or in community-based isolation facilities.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe noted that the government was already working to creating home and community protocols to roll out and have them implemented across the country.
“If this is implemented, it would free our health workers and facilities from the congestion we are experiencing, for example in Nairobi, at a time when Mbagathi and Kenyatta University Hospitals are getting full status,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said.
“What this means is that a lot of people in isolation facilities may be released to be taken care at their homes,” CS Mutahi Kagwe said noting that it was dependent on if it would be in line with WHO protocols.
The Health CS further added that a family would be considered on whether it could afford the facilities to enable self-isolation and for the families that would not be able to, then the government would assist in the process.
Also Speaking on the release of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients from the hospitals to be managed from their homes was the Ministry of Health Director General Patrick Amoth who noted that it was not making any sense to the Ministry to keep asymptomatic patients in the hospital.
“This is a key intervention that is approved by the World Health Organization and is meant to decongest health facilities and the healthcare system,” Dr.Amoth said.
The decision by the Ministry of Health to release asymptomatic COVID-19 patients creates concern on whether the patients will adhere to isolation or will follow in Kilifi Deputy Governor’s Msamburi’s footsteps and start spreading the virus in the communities.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients can still spread the virus and hence ought to be kept in isolation and it remains unclear on how the Ministry of Health will work to ensure this.
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) June 4, 2020