At least 72 healthcare workers in Kenya have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman confirmed the number during a press conference on Tuesday.
“As pertains to this current COVID-19 pandemic, 72 frontline healthcare workers have contracted the virus from different environments. Out of these, 19 are currently being managed in different health facilities,” Aman said.
Aman had previously said that it was inevitable that some health care workers would get infected adding that being infected with COVID-19 was not a death sentence and that one stood a good chance of recovering from it.
“The risk of infection has, however, not undermined their commitment to duty. I, therefore, want to take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication and devotion to serve Kenyans even in the face of being infected.”
Aman, however, pointed out that health workers were not the only frontline workers who were likely to get infected by the virus by virtue of interacting with COVID-19 cases.
Aman said the government was ensuring that it was providing the necessary personal protective equipment as the health workers went about their duties to prevent their infection.
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) said that thousands of nurses have been infected with COVID-19 and hundreds have already died, but many governments were unable to say exactly how many as they are not collecting such data.
The ICN said this failure was putting more nurses and their patients in danger during the fight against COVID-19.
The World Health Organisation stressed on the importance of countries properly equipping and compensating nurses who were putting their lives at risk for the greater good of humanity, especially in such times of crisis.