Ministry: Smoking tobacco may worsen impact of virus

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 00:00 |

 The country’s testing capacity came into focus — again — yesterday.  This was after the latest figures from the Ministry of Health indicated that only 1,682 samples had been tested in the last 24 hours.

A drastic drop in the number of sample tested and new confirmed cases has been witnessed in the last three weeks culminating in yesterdays “big fall” where only 114 new confirmed cases were recorded—the lowest in the three months. 

On Monday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Kenyans that it was too early to celebrate, pointing out a number of factors such as decline in the number of laboratory tests and minimal contact tracing.

“It was observed that the Kenyan testing strategy was not adhered to during the period and wider targeted low risk groups were tested,” the WHO said.

Specific counties 

  Yesterday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman conceded that the concerns raised by WHO had some validity adding that contact tracing had become a big challenge especially when it comes to counties. 

“We need to approach this with a lot of caution. I think the President was very clear. We should not feel like we are out of the woods and begin to rejoice and relax what we have been doing,” he said.

At the same time, the report prepared by the National Emergency Response Committee and which Dr Aman read showed that Nairobi continues to lead in terms of caseload with 19, 494 confirmed cases, which translate, to 57 per cent of the national tally.

Kiambu, which borders Nairobi, comes second with 2, 524 cases (7.3 per cent) while Mombasa follows closely with 2, 387 (6.9 per cent) and Kajiado is fourth with 1, 878 (54 per cent) so far.

On the other hand, Elgeyo-Marakwet and West Pokot counties have reported a cumulative of six cases so far. 

Yesterday’s briefing revolved around cigarette smoking (abuse of tobacco) and its adverse effects on health.

According to the ministry, tobacco damages the lungs and worsens the situation for people suffering from Coronavirus. 

Meanwhile, 318 more patients have were discharged bringing the number of recoveries to 20, 211.

Of this, 263 were under the home-based care programme while 55 were undergoing treatment in various hospitals. No single death was recorded. 

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