A report by the US journal, Lancet, has ranked Kenya among African countries with the lowest capacity to handle corona virus which has become a global crisis.
Kenya ranked among countries with the lowest capacity to handle corona virus
Kenya has only 11 isolation beds that would be used in case of an outbreak
The report by Lancet evaluated thirteen countries that had been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having the highest risk of importing the deadly virus.
The countries included Algeria, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The countries were then ranked based on the risk of importing the virus and the ability to manage the disease in the event it is detected in the country's borders.
Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana were ranked lowest in capacity to manage the disease although the report indicated the three countries had moderate risk of importing the disease.
Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa were the countries at highest importation risk from China, based on the high passenger volume from China.
South Africa, despite its high risk of importation , was found to have the highest laboratory capacity although it was ranked low in risk communication.
The report by Lancet was done between January and February 19th - at a time when Kenya had halted flights from China.
Kenya's low ranking was caused by the fact that it neither had the diagnostic equipment to test the disease nor the capacity to treat it. The country's poor quarantine facilities further lowered the score.
"Some are without the diagnostic capacity for rapid testing for the virus; thus, if cases are imported, tests will need to be done abroad, which might critically increase the delay from identification of suspected cases to their confirmation and isolation, affecting possible disease transmission," the report read in part.
Kenya is in the process of procuring test kits which will ease the process of testing suspected cases.
In the past, samples from suspected patients have been flown to South Africa for a number of days.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health said Kenya has only 11 isolation beds ready to be used in case of a coronavirus outbreak.
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