Eleven patients have succumbed to Covid 19 related ailment as the country has recorded 667 fresh cases over the last 24 hours.
The new cases were detected from 5,075 samples taken for testing bringing the total number of reported cases to 16,268.
The cumulative tests are now 266,102 and from today’s cases 657 are Kenyans while 10 are foreigners, with 393 males and 274 females and youngest is a one month old infant, while the oldest is 92.
Giving an update of the COVID situation in the country, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Mercy Mwangangi noted that 311 patients have recovered from the disease.
“Out of this 166 are from the home based care program while 145 are from various hospitals and his now brings the total number of recoveries to 7,446”, she said .
Unfortunately, the CAS confirmed that the country has lost 11 patients from the disease, bringing the total fatality to 274.
“ We are witnessing that majority of the deaths in patients have underlying issues such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV/AIDS among others and we are appealing to people not to shy away from visiting our health care facilities since the workers are ready and attending to all ailments and not just coronavirus”, she said
In terms of distribution, Dr. Mwangangi said that Nairobi has today again recorded the highest number of cases at 387, followed by Kiambu 40, Mombasa 26, Machakos 47, Kajiado 79, Nakuru 15, Uasin Gishu 14, Garissa 11, Busia 9, Kilifi 6, Turkana 6, Makueni 5, Wajir 5, Kisumu 4, Nyeri 4, Lamu 2, Muranga 2, Bomet, Bungoma , Narok, Nyamira and Vihiga have 1 case each.
Addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS and its co relation with Covid-19, the CAS said Covid-19 poses a challenge to the uptake of HIV testing services due to low outpatient hospital visits during this period.
“Majority of our people are no longer visiting our health facilities for HIV testing services as evidenced in the decline of those seeking services over the months between January 2020 and June 2020”, she said .
She added that the lowest uptake was noted between March and April, 2020 where testing volumes reduced by 33 percent and community testing decreased by 71 percent and facility testing decreased by 28 percent .
Dr. Mwangangi explained that in terms of age and sex distribution, COVID -19 pandemic did not have any impact on the prevalence of HIV in the proportion of males and females across the various age groups between March 2020 and June 2020.
“Even with emergence of the COVID-19, laboratory testing of HIV has not ceased, and it is being conducted with initial Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, and results relayed to the requesting facilities’ ‘, she said .
Although the initial PCR testing was mainly affected in the month of March and May and this was attributable to the unavailability of testing commodities, the CAS said there was a notable increase in the month of June where 5,446 tests were conducted compared to May where only 4,251 tests were done.
Dr. Francis Kuria, Head of Public health said that as the numbers of cases surge, more facilities are being set up and that currently the number of beds in the country stands at 12,513 and 498 ICU beds.
“Currently we have 1,179 patients in hospitals and 50 patients in ICU therefore we still have a capacity “, he said but added that the capacity is being improved in Nairobi where most cases are.
On the issue of testing, he reiterated that if all were to adhere to the simple laid down measures of wearing masks, keeping social distance and washing hands and sanitizing, they will not have to worry about getting tested or even a testing positive for the virus.
“We encourage those with symptoms or those who have had closer contacts with the positives to be tested. It will not be scientifically logical to test all just for a sense of assurance that you are safe”, Dr. Kuria said
By Wangari Ndirangu