We can already see an increase in demand for ICU beds and an increase in demand of oxygen requirements, said Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.

County hospitals have been urged to ensure hospitals are equipped with oxygen plants as Kenya keeps recording high number of Covid-19 infections.

The number of patients requiring oxygen has increased by over 100 per cent; from 100 patients in recent weeks to 400 patients currently, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said, adding that there are reports that some hospitals are buckling from large number of Covid-19 patients.

“Of particular importance is ensuring that not only is there oxygen but that oxygen has been properly piped because we can already see an increase in demand for ICU beds and an increase in demand of oxygen requirements,” he added.

Read also: Kenya’s COVID-19 death toll nears 4000, positivity rate at 18 per cent

The rising number of infections is attributable to the highly infectious delta variant that is also leading to more severe symptoms.

With many health facilities already stretched as the number of those requiring hospitalisation rises, he is pointing an accusing finger at the political class, blaming the increasing gatherings across the country for the upsurge.

“We are appealing to the political class to be sensitive to the situation that is currently in play. We are also asking citizens to avoid those political gatherings,” he said.

In the last 24 hours, Kenya’s COVID-19 positivity rate hit a worrying 18 per cent, sparking fears of a new wave of infections.

“We are already in it. The fortunate bit is that even as that is happening, at least the death rate continues to be reasonably low within the country as opposed to what we are observing elsewhere in the world,” Mr Kagwe added.

However, the CS noted that the country is not in third wave as noted by observes, “What we are experiencing is spike in cases at positivity rate of 11 per cent,” he said.

The counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Mombasa and Kilifi have been marked as hotspots as they continue to record high number of infections.

Acting health Director-General Patrick Amoth said the government will continue to work with county governments to ensure the availability of additional capacity for piped oxygen, which is critical for managing Covid-19.

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