Ministry of Health to review allowances for health workers handling COVID-19 patients

Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr Mercy Mwangangi. [Photo The Star]

Kenyan continues to make good progress in the fight against COVID-19 with a record of just two cases in the last 24 hours.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi on Saturday, April 11 said they tested a total of 491 samples. The two cases are from Nairobi and Mombasa; one Kenyan and one foreigner.

Two more patients have been discharged in addition. The total number of patients battling novel coronavirus stands at 191.

The CAS also said health workers handling COVID-19 patients will be appreciated by the government by conducting a review of their allowances and terms of contracts.

Dr Mwangagi spoke amid controversy sparked by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) which was against counties awarding special allowances to its health workers.

This followed Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua’s declaration of awarding health workers Sh20,000 for their relentless effort in dealing with COVID-19.

“The government is raising funds to facilitate the fight against light of scarce resources, it is prudent to use the available resources by providing personal protection equipment,” SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich said in a notice dated April 9 in response to Governor Mutua’s award.

The government has also embarked on communal mass testing for coronavirus, a move that has been welcomed by many.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said this will give Kenya an upper hand in dealing with the virus proactively and not re-actively which could overwhelm Kenya’s health system.

However, even as the State makes good strides in fighting the virus, those in quarantine at Pride Inn Lantana have complained of lack of food after they were condemned to 14 more days in quarantine.

Ideally, the government committed to pay the hotel for all the services those in quarantine get including the provision of food for the additional 14 days.

However, the hotel’s management says the government is yet to pay, an explanation seemingly justifying its decision to deny lunch to those quarantined.

“…whilst allowing you time to lobby the government to come to your aid for the extra days, we have taken care of your comfort while maintaining quarantine protocols,” Pride Inn said in a statement.