11 more Covid patients in critical care as cases rise

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Queue after the government kicked off the Covid-19 mass testing. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

Eleven more Covid-19 patients have been put on intensive care, bringing the number of people requiring critical care to 39, the Ministry of Health has announced. Additionally, 39 other patients are on supplemental oxygen.

In a statement detailing the daily coronavirus situation in the country, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said hospital admissions now stand at 1,084, up from 1,000 two days ago, as the country continues to witness an upsurge of new cases.

 He said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen to 45, 076 after 195 more people tested positive from 1, 852 samples screened in 24 hours.

 Notably, the number of samples dropped, but the positivity rate remained above 10 per cent, posing a serious threat to overstretched medical facilities especially in less developed counties.

 The ministry says there are 2, 480 patients currently under the home-based care programme across the country.

In June, the government introduced home care specifically for asymptomatic patients with no underlying conditions.

 Other requirements include ability to isolate oneself in a well-ventilated room and access to a health worker on a regular basis.

Such patients are admitted for 14 days before being discharged, a period during which they should have no symptoms.

 Yesterday, Kagwe said that Nairobi leads with 99 cases followed by Busia (18), Uasin Gishu (17), Meru (14), Mombasa (10), Kiambu (10), and Murang’a (8). “From the cases, 176 are Kenyans and 19 are foreigners,” he said.

 Seven more patients have succumbed to the disease, bringing the death toll to 839, as 227 were discharged, pushing the number of recoveries to 32, 084.

 During his briefing on Sunday, Kagwe urged Kenyans to brace themselves for tougher times ahead, saying the country was trudging towards a health crisis following an upsurge of new cases. “The spike we’re witnessing did not just erupt out of nowhere.” 

 The CS said Kenyans had abandoned safety protocols put in place to contain spread of the disease, warning that the positivity rate had been on an upward trend since September 28 when President Uhuru Kenyatta eased the virus containment measures.

 Kagwe blamed Kenyans for throwing caution to the wind, saying the don’t-care attitude is going to cost the country dearly.

“I have always said if we treat this disease normally it is going to treat us abnormally,” he said.

 The CS warned that the dreaded virus which is causing havoc globally was deeply entrenched in communities, pointing at far-flung counties such as Isiolo and Turkana as an example.

 “We need to reflect on these numbers, and especially the rising positive cases and deaths,” said Kagwe.

“If they don’t mean anything to you, then please let your loved ones count because when all else fails — it is your sacred duty to care for them.” 

The minister described the situation in eight counties including Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Turkana, Kisii, Kisumu and Trans Nzoia as “worrying” following a resurgence witnessed in the last couple of weeks.

 In Nakuru, a health worker who spoke to People Daily on condition of anonymity said almost all private health facilities had exhausted their isolation space following an upsurge of cases.

 “We don’t have space. The numbers are increasing and people out there must be very careful now,” the worker said.

 Last week, the Rift Valley regional headquarters and the county headquarters were temporarily closed after a senior provincial administrator and a messenger died after developing breathing difficulties.

 Nandi County also closed its headquarters after eight workers tested positive last week with the finance department worst affected.

Kagwe added, “Somebody has to take responsibility and it must start with political leaders, business owners and the organisers of events that attract crowds”.

He said, as a result, there is an increase in ICU cases with 28 patients being admitted.

Out of the 28 cases, 10 are on ventilators, 14 on supplementary oxygen and 4 are under observation.

Kagwe said there are close to 1,000 admissions in various health facilities across the country with higher cases originating from prisons and other institutions.

He said there is a high possibility that the country is headed a second wave of the disease.

 Globally, more than 40 million people have contracted the virus with slightly over 1 million deaths and 30 million recoveries.

By yesterday, the US had reported 8.3 million confirmed cases 224, 732 deaths.

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