Mombasa County now seems to be the place to be amidst the coronavirus pandemic that is now slowly but steadily spreading across the country.
Kenya now has more than 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novid coronavirus that first started in Wuhan China in mid November last year. 3 people have been confirmed dead from the virus.
A lot of attention is now on the preparedness of the country to deal with thousands of cases at once as other countries are. Italy, with around the same population as Kenya has more than 115,000 cases with deaths in the hundreds daily. Their health system has been far overwhelmed with medical personnel getting infected and some dying.
In Nairobi, what would become the HQ of the coordination effort to combat the virus, many hospitals are now setting up dedicated isolation centers for isolation and treatment. Nairobi hospital for instance has shut down all its satellite clinics and called all personnel to the main hospital. A 100 bed residence facility has been arranged for staff to stay at the hospital.
At county level preparedness, Mombasa’s Governor Joho is leading the front.
At the Coast General referral hospital which is being prepared to handle most of the cases in Mombasa, the governor has procured more ventilators and received from donations 8 more ventilators.
The ventilators are critical for the most dire cases when the virus causes breathing problems in patients, many of those who die from the virus is a result of breathing complications.
Unlike other counties, Governor Joho has been having almost daily press briefings updating citizens’ about the county’s preparedness.
Mombasa was among the first counties to start the shut down of many services and limit the gatherings of people, way before the National government introduced social distancing measures across the country.
When police used excessive force on ferry commuters in Mombasa, an angry Governor Joho was quick to reprimand them and got the commuters additional hours in the evenings. More was done and today, there is an orderly spaced out queues for ferry users.
Yesterday, the Governor donated 100,000KES to a woman who was seen with two children at the ferry with homemade face protection from plastic bottles.
At the end, the success or failure in the fight against COVID-19 would be measured by how as a country we marshalled resources. The resources in Nairobi are useless if they do not end up in each and every county, constituency and ward, to the people that need it the most.
So far, Mombasa has taken the lead in being prepared to protect her people.
It is a sad tale for other counties. Kilifi imported the virus while Nairobi signed up the right to discuss about the virus to the national government.