Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday ordered the country’s health ministry to publish details of all purchases made during the COVID-19 pandemic, reported CGTN Africa. The call for details comes amid allegations that government officials stole millions of dollars of vital medical supplies.
The Kenyan president’s directive applies particularly to tenders issued by the state-run Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).
The agency is at the center of a growing scandal that has sparked outrage among the public and led to strikes in ill-equipped hospitals. The KEMSA is under fire over allegations that government officials and businessmen stole $400 million in public funds meant for medical equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19.
Last week, Kenyan president Kenyatta ordered the anti-corruption commission to speed up its investigation into KEMSA, the state agency responsible for supplying Kenya’s overwhelmed hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
In related news, the World Health Organization on Monday warned the Kenyan government against relaxing measures aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued in Nairobi, the WHO said that the decline in the number of total confirmed symptomatic and asymptomatic cases in the last three weeks is not an indication that there is a national decline of the disease.
The UN health body said while the decline is a welcome trend, it is important to check if this is an indication of the country’s true flattening of the curve and how well it represents the national picture of the overall COVID-19 status.
“However, we caution against a too rapid interpretation that this decline in reported numbers already constitutes a true decline in the spread of the disease,” WHO said.
It called for the use of its guidelines in interpreting such a decline to determine the level of epidemic control.
The Kenyan health ministry has reported 345,201 coronavirus cases and 577 deaths so far.