Truck drivers on the spot as virus cases hit 3,215

Friday, June 12th, 2020 00:00 |
Trucks line up at Namanga one-stop border point (OSBP) as they await clearance to enter Tanzania. Due to stringent coronavirus testing measures, truckers are waiting for up to four days to cross OSBPs. Photo/PD/Christine Musa

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

The number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 3,215 after 121 more people tested positive—majority of them truck drivers—according to information provided by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

Of the 121 new cases, Nairobi topped  with 49 followed by Busia 37—all truck drivers tested at Malaba Border Point—while 20 cases were reported in Mombasa, Kajiado (5), Migori (4) and Kiambu and Kilifi had 2 each. 

In a statement, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said Murang’a and Nyeri counties reported one case each but on a positive note, 44 more patients have been discharged in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,092.

“We want to thank all our health care workers for their dedication and commitment that has made this possible,” said Kagwe. 

On Wednesday, Acting Director of Public Health Francis Kuria blamed indiscipline on the part of drivers for the rising cases in Busia in particular.

“We have put in place rules and protocols which require them to get tested at least 48 hours before departing for their destinations but some of them are contravening these rules leading to congestion and snarl ups at the border,” he said. 

However, three patients succumbed to the respiratory illness which was first reported in the country in March pushing the number of fatalities to 92. “All these people were in various hospitals in Nairobi,” he said. 

The challenge and complexities posed by informal settlements have come to the fore—again—with Kibera contributed the highest number of cases (18) in Nairobi, followed by Kamukunji and Ruaraka with 4 cases each. 

Other areas in Nairobi that reported new cases in the last 24 hours include Dagoreti North (3), Central Embakasi (2), and Langata (2) while Embakasi South, Kasarani, Roysambu, Starehe and Makadara reported one each. 

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe during a past media briefing. Photo/PD/FILE

In Kajiado, the cases are from Kajiado East, Kajiado East (3) and Kajiado Central (2) while at the same time, 4 cases were reported in Migori County: Suna East (2), Kuria West and Kuria East had one case each. 

At least two cases were reported in Ruiru and Kiambu Town in Kiambu county. Other counties include Kilifi (2) while Muranga and Nyeri reported  one case each. 

Of the 121 cases, 115 are Kenyans and six are foreigners residing in the country, while 92 are males and 29 are females, said Kagwe.

“The youngest is a four-month-old infant while the oldest is 86 years of age,” he added.

Meanwhile, the CS said the Ministry of Health looked forward to being allocated more funds, in yesterday’s budget, to combat not just coronavirus but also other diseases such as cancer and hypertension.

He said the Ministry of Health also needed more funds to fight infectious diseases such as measles, tuberculosis and endemic ones including malaria, as well as immunisation programmes for children.

The ministry continues to provide emergency assistance to our people who have been affected by floods, he said. 

“To this end, we are providing drugs and other essential items such as mosquito nets and water purifiers. These are programmes that contribute to the overall well-being of our people,”  he said.

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