The Ministry of Health has launched the home-based isolation and care guidelines for patients with COVID-19. The guidelines dictate the procedures for home-based care of asymptomatic patients who account for 78 percent of all Covid-19 patients across the country.

The guidelines expound on key areas such as eligibility, care procedures, medical monitoring, referral system to health facilities, criteria for determining recovery, community participation among others. The decision to look into home-based isolation was arrived at by the Ministry after it became apparent that it was no longer tenable to isolate all patients with the coronavirus in hospital-based treatment facilities.

The Ministry of Health commenced home-based care for non-critical cases with 550 patients who are now recuperating under the system after completing 14-day mandatory quarantine in isolation facilities. At the moment, the government has 113 isolation centres spread across the country, with a bed capacity of approximately 3,800 earmarked to deal with Covid-19 cases. Further, some health facilities like the Kenyatta National Hospital isolation unit, Mbagathi and Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospitals are already overstretched and cannot cope with the ever increasing number of Covid-19 positive patients. To ease the burden, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the County Governments to establish at least 300 isolation beds to address the increasing demand.

The implementation of the guidelines is being done under the supervision of medical and public health officials and Community Health Volunteers. In the informal settlements where households share small spaces, the government will work with institutions within the communities that meet the recommendations for providing such care.