500,000 masks among donation from China to boost coronavirus fight

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The cargo was flown into the country by a Kenya Airways 787 Dreamliner to boost the country's effort to combat coronavirus.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has received a consignment of medical supplies from China. He was with Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Transport counterpart James Macharia.

The cargo was flown into the country by a Kenya Airways 787 Dreamliner to boost the country’s effort to combat coronavirus. 

The consignment includes 500,000 three-ply masks, 200,000 testing and sampling tubes to be used for mass testing and 4,000 shoe covers for front line health workers.  

Also received were 300 static shoes for use in theatres, 76,000 N95 masks and face visors. Matiang’i said, “We are doing everything we can to enforce the curfew and the guidelines we have been given by the Ministry of Health and we will step up what we need to do to ensure we keep our people safe.”  

He added that the government is stepping up preparations in the event of more challenges. “County governments working with county commissioners have been asked to set up isolation centres in the event that we need them.”

On his part, Kagwe said the consignment was timely.”We were getting desperate for some of the items that are on this flight and we are glad to see the cooperation across all government agencies is helping us win this war against this pandemic.” He added that Kenya Airways crew have developed protocols on how to travel and quarantine themselves if need be.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced measures to cushion vulnerable groups and front line health workers even as nine more people tested positive for Covid-19.  

Among the measures is the distribution of stipends to those most in need and a directive to the ministries of Public Service and Health to develop welfare packages for health workers battling the disease.

The president, who delivered his address from State House in Nairobi yesterday, also directed medical insurance companies to take action to cover the requirements of such medical staff.

While recognizing that measures the government has taken on social distancing, curfew and mandatory wearing of masks in public places have slowed down the spread of the virus, the president was categorical that “we are not out of the woods yet.”