Alarm as Kemri runs out of testing kits as COVID-19 ravages Mombasa, Kawangware

Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri). [Photo Star]

Mombasa remains a COVID-19 hotspot with nine new cases reported in the county on Wednesday.

Nairobi’s Kawangware area reported one new case according to Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi.

She said that Miritini, Kibokoni, Ganjoni, Old Town and Tuda areas are the marked hotspots in Mombasa. The tally is now at 384 after the confirmation of 10 new cases.

The new cases are 6 males and 4 females all aged between 12 and 63 years.
The CAS also announced that 5 more COVID-19 patients have been discharged. The total number of recovered patients is 129.

A total of 508 samples collected from 14 counties were tested.
The new cases come at a time when the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) which is running the COVID-19 tests is grappling with a shortage of screening and testing equipment.

Kemri says that it needs Ksh790 million to buy the screening and testing equipment and other supplies required to combat coronavirus spread in the country.

“The institute has exhausted most of the reagents and materials being utilised in screening and testing for the virus,” Kemri director Yeri Kombe told Senate Committee on Health on Tuesday, April 28.

The revelations were made as the Health Ministry said it had mobilised more than Sh2.1 billion to fight the pandemic.

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Kenya Kye McCarter said President Donald Trump’s administration has donated USD6.6 million (Ksh705 million) to help fight Coronavirus in Kenya.

Of this amount, McCarter added, Ksh193 million will be released immediately to help in tackling critical care issues for COVID-19 patients.