Normalcy far off after sharp rise in Covid-19 deaths

Friday, June 19th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CAS Rashid Aman gives coronavirus updates at Afya House, Nairobi, yesterday. With him is the ministry’s acting Director General Patrick Amoth. Photo/PD/KENNA CLAUDE

Kenyans will have to wait longer before normalcy returns as a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country was witnessed yesterday. 

In his briefing yesterday, Ministry of Health CAS Rashid Aman warned the country that the number of cases and deaths could rise exponentially. 

During yesterday’s briefing, the country recorded the highest number of positive cases (213) and fatalities (10) in a single day. 

The new cases were collected from 6,024 samples, which is the highest so far, bringing the number of confirmed cases so far to 4,257. The ministry has tested 130,498 people since the first case was reported three months ago. 

Yesterday, Dr Aman expressed concern that a big number of citizens were no longer adhering to the measures and protocols put in place to curb spread of the disease. 

Of the new cases, Nairobi topped the chart with 136 infections followed by Mombasa (32) and Kajiado with 13 cases.  

At the same time, seven cases were reported in Kiambu, Busia (five), Machakos (four), Nakuru (four), Garissa (three) and Taita Taveta (two). Isiolo, Kitui, Migori, Narok and Embu reported one case each.  

Spreading fast

“Nairobi continues to be the epicentre and we have to ask ourselves whether it is because containment measures are not being adhered to... We need to know why this is happening,” said Aman. 

Although he explained that the numbers are still within the model developed by the experts, Dr Aman asked Kenyans to be vigilant saying the virus was now deeply entrenched and spreading fast within the communities. 

“Something is not right. People have become lax and no longer wearing masks, adhering to other measures like hand washing and keeping social distance...” he said. 

“There is much the government can do but we also have a responsibility to protect ourselves and those around us because the enemy is lurking in our midst,” he added. 

In Nairobi, the numbers continued rising in Dagoreti (36), Westlands (25), Kamukunji (17) and Kibra 13. While in Mombasa 20 more cases were reported in Mvita, Likoni, two, Kisauni five and two in Changamwe. 

“We have reached a stage where we have to be very vigilant because the numbers will keep rising,” said Aman. 

In terms of gender, 151 are male and 62 are female. The ages range between one year for the youngest and 73 years for the oldest, he said.

Testing capacity 

On a positive note, 106 patients were discharged in the last 24hrs bringing the total recoveries to 1459 so far. However, the number of fatalities has risen to 117.

Dr Aman assured Kenyans that the backlog of 5, 000 samples had been cleared after testing reagents was received boosting the country’s testing capacity. 

Answering questions fielded by journalists, Acting Director General of Health Patrick Amoth said that out of the 10 deaths, nine occurred in hospital while one at home. 

Of these, seven had underlying medical conditions, that is: diabetes, hypertension, leukemia and HIV/Aids.

Six deaths occurred at the Kenyatta University Referral Hospital, two at the Coast General Hospital and one at the Nairobi Hospital. 

“Home deaths that were reported in Mombasa have ceased... It shows that people are seeking treatment in health facilities,” he said. 

More on National