Governors from the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) have asked the government to allow them import vaccines directly to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, Homa Bay, Busia, Vihiga, Kakamega, Nyamira, Kisii, Bungoma, Kericho, Trans Nzoia and Bomet counties were declared Covid-19 hotspot zones and they are under lockdown to reduce the Covid-19 positivity rate.
During a press briefing, Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who also chairs LREB said they also want the government to allow them procure rapid test kits which should focus on Kisumu, Siaya, Kericho, Migori, Busia and Kisii counties.
“We urge development partners to support the LREB response strategy by increasing rapid testing kits by 1,000,000 and provide 500,000 test gadgets to the region,” he said.
He said the doses procured by the Ministry of Health are not enough to accelerate vaccination across the country.
The governors said vaccination is key in controlling further spread of the virus in the region which has so far recorded 179, 075 cases.
LREB Committee of Eminent Persons chairman Khama Rogo urged residents to exercise caution since the number of health staff to handle the infections is not enough.
Over the last one week 2, 171 new cases have been reported up from 1, 589 the previous week.
Kisumu was leading with 451 cases followed by Siaya which recorded 446 new cases, Bungoma 263 and Homa Bay 220.
Constituting the case loads to 16.1 per cent of the total cases nationally.
On oxygenation, the governors said that it remained a big challenge with many patients admitted in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) across the region requiring oxygen supplementation.
Kisumu, Kakamega and Kisii counties, he said were the only counties with facilities producing 300 litres of oxygen per minute calling on the national government to help expand the infrastructure.
Oparanya who chaired the LREB summit to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the region was accompanied by governors Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), James Ongwae (Kisii) and LREB Committee of Eminent Persons chairman Khama Rogo.
Governors from the region said they shall be holding regular meetings to strategize on how to combat the disease adding that sharing of data has been enhanced for effective decision making.