Kemri decries depletion of COVID-19 testing materials as confirmed cases hit 737

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

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) has decried the depletion of essential testing tools for coronavirus.

Prof Yeri Kombe, Kemri’s Director-General told Parliament’s Health Committee that the labs do not have protective gear and reagents essential in testing for coronavirus.

Prof Yombe said that they have already exhausted Ksh158 million which the government had allocated the institution meant to fight COVID-19.

In his justification of the funds, he said that part of the money was allocated towards research of virus.

Kemri is now seeking Sh750 million to hire more staff, buy necessary equipment including testing tools and fund more research into responses of coronavirus.

It has budgeted Ksh540 million towards the purchase of coronavirus reagents and other screening materials.

Another Sh250 million will buy equipment such as freezers, DNA synthesizers, protein synthesizers, guillotines and autoclave.
This comes as four more coronavirus deaths were reported on Wednesday.

Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman on Wednesday said that the total number of coronavirus cases have risen to 737 after 22 new cases were reported in Nairobi (3) and one in Mombasa.
The total number of deaths is now 40.

The Ministry of Health tested 1,516 samples in the last 24 hours. Hitherto, a total of 35,432 cases have been tested.

Twenty-one of those who tested positive are Kenyans while the one is a Ugandan national.

Ten of the cases were from Nairobi, Mombasa (8), Kajiado (3) and Bomet (1).
The total number of recoveries are now at 281 after 22 more patients were discharged.