CAS: Politicians a threat to Covid pandemic gains

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 00:00 |
ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses the public in Kawangware, Nairobi, after attending Church Service at United Christian Ministries in the area. Photo/Courtesy

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

The Ministry of Health once again raised the red flag yesterday over heightened political activities in the country warning that such activities could derail the fight against coronavirus with fears of a second wave emerging.

Presenting the daily coronavirus update yesterday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr Rashid Aman warned politicians to halt ongoing political meetings saying a resurgence of could pose a serious threat to the welfare of Kenyans.

Noting that the country had done well so far to curtail the spread of the virus, through strict adherence of containment measures, Aman said the rallies would reverse all the gains made. 

“Our worry and concern are the re-energised political frenzy spearheaded by our political leaders, which could roll back all the gains we have made in curtailing the spread of this disease,” he said.

“We are appealing to our people to make a choice between a safe country and a second wave. The choice is ours,” he added. 

“We are also joining the rallying call by the Religious Inter-Faith Council in appealing to all our political leaders to assist us in this fight against the Covid-19 by curtailing their activities that are bound to draw crowds,” he said.

He said the testing carried out by health officials both at the county and central government have shown that positivity rate is yet to come down and therefore a lot of work still needs to be done. 

“In the last one week following the relaxation of measures by the President, the positivity rate still remains high for our liking,” he said.

Adding: “It is for this reason that we are appealing to Kenyans not to lower your guard.” 

Safety measures

For instance, he said the Nairobi Remand Prison will not be accepting more remandees from today owing to a spike in infections and the need to enforce safety measures such as social and physical distance. 

He further attributed the significant drop in the number of daily samples tested to shortage of testing kits terming it a global problem since the manufacturers are unable to meet the high demand.

“The ministry’s supply chain for these commodities has been unstable lately and hence low numbers of samples tested, and the resultant low number of confirmed positives, mean the virus is disappearing? Certainly not!” he explained. 

He cautioned Kenyans that such a mindset will breed complacency which could in turn have a disastrous effect in the long run.

“The virus is very much in our midst with full blown transmission,” he warned. 

“Let us not for a moment think that we have beaten the virus. We cannot relent on our efforts in containing its spread.” 

At the same time, Aman said the number of confirmed cases had risen to 39, 586 after 137 more people tested positive from some 1, 258 samples conducted in the last 24 hours.

Nairobi leads with 64 cases followed by Turkana 34, Mombasa 12 and Kajiado eight.

Uasin Gishu reported six new cases while Trans Nzoia, which is emerging as a new hot spot, has four cases.

Eight other counties including Nakuru, Meru and Kericho reported one case each.

On a positive note, 296 more patients have been discharged bringing the number of recoveries to 27, 331.

Unfortunately, eight other patients succumbed to the disease pushing the number of fatalities to 743.

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