By Stephen Mwangi
Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki has warned that relaxing the measures for Covid-19 prevention can prove costly.
He therefore wants Kenyans to stick to the outlined protocols while the ministry of health should stiffen enforcement in the wake of reported outbreak omicron variant in several African and Asian countries.
The senator was speaking during a Mombasa Rotary event to reward front line health workers for their hard work during the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event took place at Tudor Sub County Hospital in Mombasa County.
Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki said with reports of a possible fifth wave attacking the world, Kenyans have to be extra careful.
“We are not yet out of the woods. We must continue observing the Covid-19 protocols including wearing a face mask always, sanitising, washing the hands with soap and keeping social distance. These are simple steps but can save us from corona,” said Faki.
He urged Mombasa residents to take advantage of the free vaccination program by the government, as getting the jab by masses would pre-empt other tough measures.
Faki said the reports of the omicron variant detected in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong should be taken seriously.
Rotary Club of Mombasa secretary Irfan Hobaya said frontline health workers sacrificed their time and risked their lives to protect Kenyans during the pandemic.
He said all those who stood on the frontline during the height of the pandemic in the formative stages, including doctors, specialists, nurses, technicians, catering and cleaning staff, mortuary and burial teams, deserve to be appreciated by all Kenyans.
Mombasa county medical services chief officer Khadija Shikely said no one was forced to go into Covid care and the number of volunteers took them by surprise.
“This came from their own self-giving. They actually volunteered. We only took out vulnerable and high-risk groups and asked the rest to volunteer if they could,” said Shikely.
Over 160 frontline workers from various facilities in Mombasa, including Tudor sub-county hospital, TUM Isolation Centre, Mvita sub-county hospital, Jaffery Medical Clinic, Memon Medical Centre, and the Covid Burials Volunteer Team, were feted with certificates among other things.
She said the TUM temporary isolation centre had to be established after the numbers in Mombasa started shooting, becoming the county second highest rate of infection behind Nairobi.
“At that time we had only the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, which had only 150 beds. It was filling up like crazy,” said Shikely.
As of November 20, Mombasa County, according to statistics released by Statista, is ninth in terms of counties with the most number of vaccine doses administered.
Nairobi county leads in terms of both share of population fully vaccinated at 24.7 percent and the number of people fully vaccinated at 1,091,853, Kiambu county is in second place with 352,875 people fully vaccinated, but third (behind Nyeri county 20.2 per cent) in share of population fully vaccinated at 14.9 per cent.