CS Kagwe urges Kenyans not to panic after Uganda imposed 42-day lockdown

Monday, June 7th, 2021 21:37 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the press at Afya House in Nairobi. Photo/PD/ALEX MBURU

The government is advising Kenyans not to panic after Ugandan authorities re-imposed a 42-day lockdown on Sunday even as Kisumu County, about 120 kilometres apart recorded a positivity rate of 28.4 percent yesterday.

Kenyans seemed to be apprehensive yesterday morning of the latest situation in the neighbouring country after news of its move filtered in through various mainstream and social media platforms.

There were fears across the country due to the proximity of the two countries to each other, but the Ministry of Health’s Head of Public Health, Dr. Francis Kuria played down the anxiety by calling on Kenyans to be calm.

“We don’t just react to any news, to start reviewing our current operations as regards Covid-19 especially on movement restrictions. What’s happening in Uganda does not affect us in any way, for now,” he told People Daily as the national Covid-19 reports indicated that there were 148 new positive cases yesterday from 2, 163 tests translating to a positivity rate of 6.8 percent up from 4.7 percent on Sunday.

However, Kuria emphasised that Kenyans must not drop their guard and always oblige to the Covid-19 public health protocols.

Wash hands, sanitise, avoid crowded areas and wear masks properly, he advised as the country saw 21 people succumb to the disease yesterday.

Kuria said the country strictly follows advice from her own scientists to inform any policy direction especially on public health, and not political influences.

“We really don’t have to panic about such news from across the borders, but the option at our disposal is to heighten surveillance measures along our boundaries,” he said.

Kuria insisted that even in schools, nobody should panic because the government was keenly watching every situation as it unfolds. “There is nothing to worry us. Everyone should bear in mind that schools re-opened at the time there was talk of the Covid-19 fourth wave attack. Currently, we haven’t reported any surge in cases to advise otherwise,” he added.

The move by President Yoweri Museveni will see the closure of schools and the suspension of inter-district travel to help beat back a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The new measures, which became effective yesterday morning, include the closure of all educational institutions, some bans on travel, the shutdown of weekly open markets, and the suspension of church services.

On Monday, Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe said a total of 631 patients had recovered from the disease as of yesterday with 496 drawn from Home Based and Isolation Care programme, while 135 are from various health facilities in the country.

“Total recoveries now stand at 118, 226 of whom 85, 892 are from Home Based Care and Isolation program, while 32, 334 are from various health facilities,” he said.

The CS said yesterdays deaths have pushed the total fatality to 3, 308 so far with the number of positive cases hitting 172, 639 from 1, 836, 410.

Nairobi still retains the hotspot with 48 positive cases foillowed by Homa Bay with 46, and ironically Kisumu which has imposed strict measures reporting only 5 positive cases.

A total of 1, 147 patients are currently admitted in various health facilities countrywide, while 4, 802 are under Home Based Isolation and Care. Unfoertunately, 102 are fighting for their lives in the Intensive Care Unit.

Kagwe said a total of 975, 835 people have been vaccinated 13, 194 having received the second AstraZeneca vaccine.

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