Record 570 virus patients recover in a single day

Friday, July 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at a past briefing. He has cautioned Kenyans not to drop their guard on Covid rules. Photo/PD/File

Some 570 Kenyans yesterday  recovered from the coronavirus disease. 

Speaking in Nakuru where he delivered his daily update on Coronavirus situation, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe also sent a warning shot to  Lancet Kenya, to put its house in order or risk closure following growing discrepancies in cases they handle.

For instance, the 17 staff of St Andrews Turi, who tested positive after their samples were evaluated at the facility returned a negative verdict after repeat test was done by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) three days later.

Kiambu Town MP Jude Njomo has also accused Lancet Kenya for misdiagnosing his mother, Margaret Wambui saying she never had Coronavirus. 

The legislator told the parliamentary Health Committee of the anguish his family endured when their 86-year old mother was hurriedly buried at night.

Lancet Kenya has defended itself from the claims saying their results are professional and credible. 

A similar case has been reported at Kabarak, where the management has raised concerns after two staff that had tested positive three weeks ago turned out negative after samples were taken to Kemri. 

Yesterday, Kagwe said the ministry is concerned with the emerging inconsistencies noting that the matter is now in the hands of the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board and other investigating agencies.

“The same thing was noticed in Nairobi so it is not the first time. If you are hearing that a lab has been giving all these unclear results, do not go there. 

We have asked the boards to review that particular laboratory and we will see what they come up with,” said Kagwe.  

The CS continued to say: “As a ministry we have a responsibility to ensure that the laboratories we are licensing are those that are working in a believable manner.

The worst thing we can do is have a situation where people question the results that we give.”

Concerning the recoveries, Kagwe said that 512 patients are under  home-based care programme while 58 were discharged from various hospitals in the country.

Confirmed cases

At the same time, the number of the confirmed cases now stands at 11, 673 after 421 more people, 12 of them foreigners, tested positive from 3, 895 samples tested in the last 24 hours.  

Kagwe said it was expected that the numbers would rise with the easing of movement across the country .

  “We did it with full knowledge that the figures would rise but the question is how long can you keep a place on lockdown?”

According to the Health CS, President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the travel ban in the knowledge that Kenyans are now well equipped to protect themselves against the virus while also going out with their daily economic activities. 

The CS  said he is impressed by the efforts being taken by counties in terms of Covid-19 preparedness saying that a lot of progress has been made citing the case of Nakuru, which has already attained the 300-bed capacity isolation in line with President Uhuru’s directive.

“Many counties now have oxygen. I can tell you we are now where we were 3-4 months ago,” he said. Eight more people have died in the last 24 hours bringing the number of fatalities to 217.

The government is working towards 100 per cent community health units’ coverage nationally, and to do so, the ministry of Health has recruited, and is training 31, 780 community health volunteers, Kagwe said.

He added that this will ensure full coverage of community health services in the country to support home based isolation and care for the patients and achievement of Universal Health Care (UHC).

Acting Director General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth said home-based care programme is the way to go since about 90 per cent of patients are asymptomatic which means they don’t develop any symptoms or the respiratory disease.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui called for caution saying cases have surged since travel restrictions were lifted about two weeks ago. 

The governor said there are 150 confirmed cases in the county, distributed across 10 sub-counties with Nakuru Town leading with 24 per cent of infections followed by Naivasha with 21 per cent.

He said 72 are alert cases from within the communities while 48 are truck drivers. Food handlers and health workers are 15 and 5 respectively while 9 are contacts from infected persons.

“Initially, the cases were imported but currently transmission is at community level,” he said.

“Nakuru has been identified as a high risk due to its high population, central location and is along the Northern Corridor used by long-distance trucks and travelers to the Western and Nyanza regions as well as neghbouring countries,” said Governor Kinyanjui.

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