Corona infections ‘could hit 10,000 by end of April’

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 00:00 |
Acting Director General of health Patrick Amoth. Photo/PD/FILE

The Ministry of Health warned yesterday that  coronavirus disease cases are projected to rise to 10,000 by the end of April, if no action is taken to control the spread.

Addressing a press conference at Afya House, Ministry of Health Director General (DG) Patrick Amoth said though the virus is not following a trend, the ministry’s modelling shows there could be more than 1,000 cases by the first week of April, 5,000 by mid-April and potentially 10,000 by the end of that month.

“Those are the figures we are working to protect ourselves and preposition our personal protective equipment, our test kits, human resource and isolation and quarantine facilities,” the DG said.

  Amoth raised a red flag on a possible rapid increase on persons who will have contracted Covid-19 thanks to the country’s weak health system and disease burden especially HIV/Aids.

He added: “Though, nature sometimes does not observe but we believe if works along that way, then the actions we will take will ensure we are in control.

However, he said, one thing that will work to our advantage is that our population is youthful, potentially, it is possible they will catch the virus but will pass on as mild illness.

On the contrary, he held, what will work against us is our weak health system and disease burden especially HIV/Aids, especially when we have quick community transmission.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Monday indicated that the virus is being spread in communities and is no longer imported from the outside the country.

“Those who are not adhering to medicine will be at risk because of lack of viral suppression, therefore putting them at risk,” Amoth advised.

While the youthful population will work to our advantage, he held, our higher burden of communicable diseases will disrupt that advantage.

Nevertheless, in consultation with the technical team, Amoth disclosed that the ministry had agreed to only test those in quarantine after day eight.

“Yesterday (Sunday), we managed to test about 114, half of the population came from people in quarantine so as we go ahead we are going to increase the number of those going to be tested,” he noted.  

However, he revealed, the ministry was working very hard to make ensure Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH)  will be able to provide additional testing capacity.

The current country’s laboratory testing capacity allows for only 300 samples in 24 hours.

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