As the nation marked a hundred days since the first case of Covid 19 infection was confirmed in the country two more people have tested positive to the pandemic that has claimed more than one thousand people globally.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said two including a two year old child were found infected out of a sample of 491 people tested over the last 24 hours pushing the national tally to 191.
He said the samples of the duo who were a Kenyan and foreign national whose were picked from Mombasa and Nairobi respectively but in both cases none had a history of traveling outside the country in recent times.
Dr Mwangangi told the national briefing on the status of the pandemic that country the child and the 32 year old person were picked by surveillance teams adding that at least 508 contacts were being traced at the moment.
“Out of the 191 cases now reported in the country, 109 were male while 82 were females whose age distribution was that 124 were between 30 years and 59 years. Fifty (50) cases are age between 15 years and 29 years, and seven (7) of the cases are aged 60 years and above while two (2) are aged 2 years” she said.
The CAS also confirmed that two more patients were discharged from hospital bringing the number of those who have recovered from the highly contagious disease to 24
She commended the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) for the input in the production and distribution of sanitizers saying that so far they firm had released at least 300,000 litres to various government agencies at the counties.
“KPC and its partners is revising the initial target of producing 1 million litres of sanitizer to 2.5 million litres. This will indeed boost the requirement to have as many Kenyans as possible to sanitize their hands”, Dr. Mwangagi said.
Dr Mwangangi also gave a global outlook of the pandemic saying more than 102,760 people succumbed to the Coronavirus disease as infection figures stood at 1,700,435.
She said although more than 480,000 people have globally recovered from the disease the loss of over 1000 live daily was disturbing and calls for all Kenyans to keep their guard to avert occurrence scenario witnessed in the worst affected hotspots. .
Giving an update on the countries situation on Coronavirus situation, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. mercy Mwangangi said globally we have been losing 1000 persons per day and this is more reason why Kenyans should continue to observe measures as advised by the government.
“we consider that this weekend marks our 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 disease was reported and we begin to realize that, globally, we have been losing at least 1000 persons daily and these are no mean figures”, she said
The CAS told Kenyans not to relent on the set out measures to keep the disease at bay failure to which she expressed fears that the nation could invite the mass deaths some countries were dealing with on daily basis.
Dr. Mwangangi said that in the next 21 days the government will be scaling up testing ability by working with different teams such as Africa CDC, WHO and different consulting groups who all have shared their different models of executing the exercise..
“As we try and scale up mass testing, we are bound to get more cases of coronavirus within our population so the next two to three weeks will be very important for us as we first start with targeted testing of quarantine centers, then our health care workers and then rolling out the mass testing in the different institutions”, she said
Dr. Mwangagi said that government is looking at the different laboratories in the country who are engaging in the testing exercise and hope that in the next coming three weeks engage facilities that have even been testing for TB in the country.
“ We have 193 machines that are available and thus mass testing will indeed pick out the positive cases and we will be able to combat corona virus disease”, she said.
Dr. Patrick Amoth, Ag. Director General Ministry of Health said the government has received testing kits from Roche diagnostics enough to be able to test 7,000 persons.
“We will be able to deploy this in KEMRI where we have three machines, One at KNH, another at the National Influenza center, Moi Teaching referral hospital, KEMRI Alupe and the Coast provincial hospital”, he noted.
As we prepare for mass testing in the next two to three weeks, Dr. Amoth said with the restructured approach, testing of Covid 19 samples will take a shorter time since the machine being used can be able to do 3000 samples in about one to two hours in one facility.
“Government is working hard to procure more testing kits so that we can utilize these machines to reach a bigger population and be able to tell for sure where we are in terms of winning the babble or need to change our strategy”, he explained.
On the issue that Kenyans who were in China are being discriminated, Dr. Amoth said that the government had opened talks with the Chinese embassy in both countries to address the concerns
‘The same way we have protected the Chinese here, we expect them to reciprocate the safety of Kenyans who are in China”, Dr. Amoth said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a statement earlier amid reports that Kenyans living in China were among African nationals targeted in racial discrimination reassuring that the Beijing Embassy has seized the matter.
By Wangari Ndirangu