Surge in Covid-19 figures raise concern

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CAS Rashid Aman receives a donation of 200 ventilators from USAid at Afya House. Present is the US ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter, accompanied by the USAid Acting Administrator John Barsa (Story on page 17). Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

The Ministry of Health has warned Kenyans against failure to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols, saying a resurgence of the virus could be in the offing if the current rise witnessed in Nairobi and four other counties in the past week is anything to go by.

Noting that the ministry is grappling with the latest trend where counties that had been reporting fewer cases are now experiencing a sharp increase, Health CAS Rashid Aman said the country is not out of the woods yet.

He said a surge in the number of confirmed cases had been witnessed in Nakuru, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi with the last two cities having the highest positivity attack rates at 476.9 and 245.7 per 100,000 population respectively.

He said that the national average stands at 82.9 per population of 100,000 people adding that 98 per cent of the 39,427 (that is 38,784) confirmed cases are as a result of local transmissions.

“This means that almost the entire confirmed cases have been contracted as a result of the spread in our households, our communities in the estates, our markets, in the villages and other social and public places,” said Aman.

We have also observed interesting trends in the last one week where certain counties which had been recording low cases have begun shooting up, he said.

For instance, Nakuru led in the number of infection from the test results released on October 2.

Topped charts

Out of the 3, 065 samples tested, Nakuru topped the charts with 75 cases followed by Nairobi with 36, Mombasa 15 and Trans Nzoia came fifth with 13.

A similar trend was witnessed on October 1 and October 3 where these five counties kept switching positions.

“This is a very mysterious and unique disease whose patterns are still very unclear to those in the medical and scientific profession,” he said. 

He said that local scientists have joined their global counterparts in efforts to understand coronavirus and how to deal with it.

So far, Nairobi leads in the national tally with 20,971 cases followed by Mombasa with 2,969 while Kiambu stands at the third position with 2,776.

Kajiado and Machakos have 1,981 and 1,340 respectively while Nakuru is in fifth position with 1,259 cases.

Elgeyo Marakwet county has the least cases with 12 reported cases since the first case was reported in the country in March.

It is followed by West Pokot with 21 cases, Marsabit (24), Tana River (25), Mandera (29) and Nyamira 30.

“Our medical experts from the Ministry of Health, as well as our modeling teams, are studying the behavioural patterns of how the virus is moving, and we shall make public the findings once they are completed,” he assured.

“In the meantime, we continue to make a passionate appeal to our people to strictly adhere to the containment measures particularly to avoid all forms of gatherings—be they social or political,” he said.

He urged Kenyans to strictly observe safety measures such as regular washing of hands with soap and water, wearing of face masks in all public places and maintaining social and physical distance.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health has reported 22 more new cases from some 595 samples tested in the last 24 hours which now brings the total national caseload to 39, 449.

The cumulative tests now stands at 564,078. Nairobi leads with 18 new cases followed by Meru (two), Nakuru (one), and Kiambu (one).

On the flip side, 376 more patients have been discharged pushing the number of recoveries to 27, 035. 

“I want to thank our healthcare workers for their selfless dedication to duty,” he said.

Four more patients have died bringing the number of deaths to 735.

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