Kenya interested in new jab as infections rise to 27,425

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi. Photo/File

Irene Githinji @gitshee

The Government will seek to engage Russia over effectiveness of the vaccine it has developed for coronavirus disease, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi has said.

Mwangangi said if it will be necessary for Kenya to plug into the Russian vaccine, it will happen on the basis of laid down protocols and regulations.

“Yes, we have seen the report that Russia has developed the first vaccine and we, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will engage to find out what vaccine has been deployed and whether it is working,” said Dr Mwangangi.

Adding: “It becomes important every time we have a new vaccine to test it and ensure it is safe.

Russia itself is probably going to be conducting studies, even as they deploy their vaccine to ensure it is effective.”

She also lauded local scientists participating in the search for a vaccine saying they are now on the second phase.

“We have teams that are working and we will continue to appraise you in terms of progress,” said Dr Mwangangi.

She made the remarks during the daily update on the status of coronavirus disease in the country, saying that all counties have now registered a case.

A total of 497 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the caseload to 27,425.

Another 372 patients recovered from the disease, 315 of whom were under the home-based care system, bringing the total to 13,857.

However, 15 more people succumbed to coronavirus, pushing the total number of fatalities to 438.

At the same time, Mwangangi said the Government is working on protocols to have a more participatory approach during burial of Covid-19 patients.

She agreed with the concern that has been raised over time indicating that it has been intimidating to have people donned in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during burial of a loved one.

However, she said that this policy position remains underscoring the importance of ensuring those coming into direct contact with the body and the coffin are donned in full PPE to avoid taking any chances.

“We have determined the need to demystify this stigma and we are engaging different communities to see if there is possibility to be able to have community members, the loved ones of the deceased, conduct that process and be trained in terms of donning and handling PPEs so that they themselves are the ones who handle the body,” she explained.

She, however, said that this proposal is not yet fully endorsed in terms of protocols but the case management teams are reviewing it. 

Should this be endorsed, the poll bearers will be family members as opposed to the medical clinicians.

 “We are working on this though it is not a final position yet. We are still reviewing how we would be able to roll that out to ensure there is participation of the family during the last rites and when ready we will deploy it and define the mechanisms through which that can take place,” she added.

Yesterday’s cases were distributed across the country with Nairobi having 236, Kiambu (45), Kajiado (26), Mombasa (19), Machakos (19), Laikipia (18), Trans Nzoia (17), Kisumu (17), Murang’a (11), Nandi (11), Nyeri and Busia (8) cases each and Bomet (7).

Uasin Gishu, Kericho, Nyamira, West Pokot and Kilifi reported 5 cases each while Garissa, Kirinyaga,Kirinyaga, Kisii, Meru and Wajir reported 3 cases each.

Nakuru, Embu, Kakamega, Kwale and Turkana reported 2 cases each.

“Samburu now has 10 cases of coronavirus. The virus is now in all 47 counties. The Ministry has been conducting an assessment to know our level of preparedness. Nairobi has a capacity of 1,180 beds of which 1,104 are isolation beds,” said Mwangangi.

More on News