Kenya is facing an acute shortage of oxygen in many hospitals across the country, the health ministry announced.
Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe further appealed to individuals, major hospitals and other sectors holding oxygen cylinders to return them to the manufacturers so that they can be refilled.
Mr. Kagwe lamented that some individuals and institutions are holding 20,000 oxygen cylinders which are desperately needed in public hospitals to save lives.
Kenya has been recording a high number of Covid-19 patients with the ICU going up to 136 with 36 of them under ventilation and supplementary oxygen.
Kagwe revealed that Kenya has only 16% of the gas they need while the state has only 73 oxygen plants across the country.
Meanwhile, a steel manufacturing company, Devki Group, said it will give out free oxygen to both private and public hospitals in Kenya.
“We reaffirm our commitment to stand with Kenyans during these trying times,” Devki Group Chairman Narendra Raval said in a statement on Monday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta last week ordered cessation of movement in and out of the five counties, including additional restrictions on public gatherings and extended curfew hours in a bid to reduce the high rate of infection.
The new restrictions have been imposed in the country's capital Nairobi and the three urban counties surrounding it, plus Nakuru, a major transit city.
"Our rate of infection has gone up 10 times between January and March of 2021," Kenyatta said in a nationally televised address.
The country, with a population of 53 million people, has a cumulative total of 132,646 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including more than 2,147 deaths.