NAIROBI, 24 March 2021 – Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, has been hit by a third wave of COVID-19 that has strained the city’s health system, reports say.

Hospitals in the city have ran out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds, the country’s health CS Mutahi Kagwe told reporters.

ICU Beds Full to Capacity in Nairobi Hospitals - Photo Voice of America

ICU Beds Full to Capacity in Nairobi Hospitals – Photo Voice of America

On Monday, new cases exploded, hitting a new one-day record of 1,130 for a positivity rate of 22 percent.

News reports citing health experts said the new strain hitting most patients in the city is more contagious and more deadly with most patients requiring oxygen facilities about ten days after infection.

The situation is so dire, hospitals have a waiting list for patients requiring but not yet able to be hooked up to oxygen support.

One news report citing a doctor in a private hospital in Nairobi said some patients are praying for their colleagues to die so that they can free up ICU beds.

Hospitals as Corruption Free Zones - Photo K24 TV

Hospitals as Corruption Free Zones – Photo K24 TV

Medical workers attend to coronavirus patients in the intensive care unit in Kenya - Photo Brian Inganga, AP

Medics Attend to COVID-19 patients in ICU care unit in Kenya – Photo Brian Inganga, AP

Counties surrounding Nairobi are facing the same situation, with ICU beds full to capacity and waiting lists established.

One newspaper reported that the cost of treating the new coronavirus has also skyrocketed in Nairobi, with hospitals in the city charging up to $5,500 (Ksh 600,000) for ICU beds.

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