Country records highest recoveries as 97 discharged
Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah
It was a mixture of good and bad news yesterday as the country recorded the highest number of recoveries in 24 hours while the number of coronavirus cases inched closer to 3,000 after 95 more people tested positive.
In its daily briefing yesterday, the Ministry of Health through Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman said a record 97 patients had been discharged bringing the total number of recoveries to 849 so far.
But on the flip side, one more death was reported after a patient in Nairobi succumbed to the respiratory illness—pushing the number of deaths to 85. The number of samples tested also fell to 1,096 as shortage of testing kits began to be felt.
In total, there are 2,862 positive cases in the country now while at the same time the number of samples tested since the first Coronavirus cases was reported in the country on March 13 rose to 98, 439.
“This is the highest in a 24 hour period. It is a commendable and this proves that contracting the disease is not a death sentence… I want to thank our health workers from all cadres for this achievement,” said Dr Aman.
“I thank and salute them because they are doing a good job in very difficult circumstances. This is not something we take for granted, I thank and salute them,” he said.
Sadly, he said, three of the 95 new positive cases are nurses based in Nyeri who contracted the disease in line of duty.
He said many other government workers like those stationed at border points could be exposed to the disease terming it as “occupational hazard.”
However, Dr Aman insisted that the National and county governments have procured sufficient Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) for its medical personnel and other front line workers saying it is one of the priority areas.
According to information provided by the ministry yesterday, Marsabit is the latest county to report Coronavirus case which now brings the number of counties to 38; a stark reminder of how fast the virus is spreading.
Dr Aman also directed people aged 60 and above and those with underlying conditions to wear N95 masks, the one recommended for health care and other front line workers; in line with the latest World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.
“The best thing for them is to stay at home and reduce chances of contracting the disease but if they venture out then they must wear a mask…” he said.
At the same time, Dr Aman said the government is exploring various options before implementing home-based care for the asymptomatic patients already in quarantine. According to him, about 80 per cent of patients are asymptomatic.
He said the government will look into it case-by-case before releasing them saying that a number of things have to be met before a patients is discharged.
“There are many things we will look at like who will take care of them at home… if they have a separate room where he cannot interact with the rest… who will feed them and how his utensils are going to be managed,” he said.
Out of the 95 new cases, Mombasa leads with 56 followed by Nairobi with 13 while Busia comes third with 10—nine of whom are truck drivers who were tested at the Busia and Malaba Border Points.
In terms of gender, 57 are male and 38 are female with the youngest being one-year-old and the oldest 72 years, he said.
In Mombasa, Mvita reported the highest number of cases at 22 followed by Changamwe (13), Nyali (seven), Kisauni (six), Likoni (five) and Jomvu three cases. Kibra leads in Nairobi with 10 cases while Langata, Kasarani and Dagoreti North have one case each.
Kajiado reported six new cases while Kilifi reported three, said Dr Aman. He said Kitui, Kwale, Garissa and Marsabit counties reported one case each. “The rise in infections is because some people are not following the containment measures,” he said.
“Every county is going to report a case… that is inevitable,” he added. Fortunately, Dr Aman said that they have not encountered a case of re-infection of any of the patients they have discharged so far.