Governor Ongwae urges public to stop stigmatizing covid-19 patients, as county distributes 600,000 free face masks

Kisii County Governor James Ongwae has appealed to members of the public to avoid stigmatizing persons who have recovered from COVID-19 and embrace them back in society.

Ongwae noted that with the rise in cases of recoveries among patients of COVID -19, the public should treat it like any other ailment and continue employing the prescribed measures to prevent the spread of Corona Virus.

Speaking during the launch of the distribution of 600,000 free face masks to members of the public in all the 45 wards in Kisii County, the governor called for a concerted effort in curbing the spread of COVID-19 disease.

“The novel Corona Virus is currently affecting all nations across the world and it is now necessary to step up preventive measures to enable the people to resume normal operations even as we mull the possibility of gradually re-opening the economy,” the governor said.

As a result, Ongwae said that proper wearing and use of face masks has been cited as a key protective measure to keep COVID 19 at bay.

The governor said that in order to support direction given by President Uhuru Kenyatta, to ensure the success of the containment measures put in place by the government, Kisi County government had spent KShs 22 million to procure the 600,000 quality, reusable face masks for free distribution to members of the public across the 45 wards.

To ensure fair distribution, each ward was allocated 10,000 face masks which will be distributed to the residents through their elected MCAs.

Ongwae said that already, Kisii County is progressively taking drastic measures to beef up the government preparedness to contain the spread of the contagious Corona virus by implementing a raft of measures.

“To meet the national government requirement to prepare 300 beds for isolation in-case of a major outbreak of COVID 19, we have already reserved 310 beds including 15 Ventilator beds at Kisii Teaching and Referral hospital,” he said.

He announced that the new 250 bed capacity male ward at KTRH had been set aside as a stand-alone isolation facility while 60 more beds including 15 ICU beds are at KTRH and other facilities across the county.

“These isolation facilities are in good working order and ready to receive patients. We have also created additional isolation facilities at Iranda, Kenyerere, Kiogoro, Getembe and Kiamwasi to give us a total isolation capacity of 450 beds in readiness for any eventuality,” the governor said.

At the same time, Ongwae said that an anti Covid 19 containment center is operational at the Kisii School with a 300 bed capacity and the center is mainly used as a holding ground for offenders violating containment rules.

The governor also said that the County had embarked on the production of additional 100,000 face masks through Nyaore Youth Polytechnic and the masks will be ready for free distribution to the public as from next month.

This initiative will be a continuous venture to ensure that resident have enough supply of free face masks until COVID 19 dissipates.

Kisii County has registered 5 cases of COVID 19 to date, the victims have since undergone treatment the isolation center at the KMTC and have tested negative and discharged.

Over 150 of their contacts had also tested negative and released after concluding the mandatory quarantine.