Kenyans should abide by the measures the government has put in place if the Country is to defeat the Covid -19 disease, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said .
There is still a lot of work to be done considering there are many Kenyans who are still infected and more are still getting infected as result of coming into contact with those who have tested positive for the virus, the CS added.
“We must not relent in the fight against the virus by observing the preventive measures that we have been communicating to you”, he noted.
Kagwe who was giving an update of the Coronavirus in the country and response measures the government is undertaking , said so far the total number of Covid -19 confirmed cases has shot up to 81 after 22 cases were confirmed within the last 24 hours.
In the last twenty four hours, the CS said a total of 380 samples were tested from suspected cases and out of these confirmation of Twenty-two (22) people tested positive for the Coronavirus disease.
“Eighteen (18) of the confirmed cases are Kenyan nationals while four (4) are foreign nationals (2) each from Pakistan and Cameroon”, he said .
The Distribution of these cases by Counties is Mombasa has 7 cases, Kiambu has 2 while Kakamega, Kilifi, machakos, Muranga, Nyamira and Nairobi have 1 case each.
In terms of gender, CS Kagwe said there are 13 males and 9 females whose ages range from 23 years to 71 year and that out of the confirmed cases, all except one were detected in quarantine facilities.
Tracing of close contacts of the eighty-one (81) confirmed cases is on-goin and so far, the total number of close contacts that are being monitored 1675.
Out of this number, 706 have been discharged from contact follow up process after completing the 14 days follow up period and currently teams are monitoring 969 close contacts of confirmed cases.
The government he explained is taking serious measures and preparing substantially. ‘”We owe a responsibility to Kenyans particularly those in vulnerable areas and groups to ensure that we protect them under any circumstance”.
As we watch the situation unfolding, the CS said Kenyans should prepare themselves for stiffer measures that the government is going to take because we cannot behave normally in an abnormal situation.
The CS has also come out to clarify that the Government is dealing with the fight against the disease through a multi-agency approach and that there are people who may want to pour cold water on the united approach with a view of grinding the machine to a halth
“Leaders in and out of parliament should not speak on this issue likey they want to bring in division”, he noted saying when it comes to tracing the Ministry of health does not have a cpaicty thus government agencies are assisting in tracing the people
The fight against the disease , the CS said requires a united effort because this is not the end and the journey has just started. “There is need therefore to educate, unify rather than divide. The disease does not discriminate between the rich and the poor”, the CS said .
“Eighty one (81) of us are now positive and the number growing exponentially , if you have one person affecting so many people , then you understands that high chances that a person’s next to you has been exposed so keep your distance”, the CS said .
On the issue of resources , CS Kagwe said the country has enough support from the international community, the government and we continue to get support from various quotas, and just yesterday, the World bank was approving a line of credit of USD 50 million so we have not ran out money for this purpose.
The problem globally he said is shortage of material, and not the money, noting that by end of day tomorrow the country is going to start manufacturing PPEs here so that is going to be breakthrough for us. Once that happens even the shortages we are experiencing because of the global demand are also going to reduce,.
Acting Director General Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth said all the 81 patients are doing well, except one who is in critical care in ICU at Aga khan university hospital but his condition is also improving.
“In the next three or four days we should be able to announce that potentially there is another patient who could be declared as having been cured of Covid 19.
Dr. Amoth explained that Covid 19 is a viral infection and has no specific treamtent and that what is offered by clinicians is supportive treatment which means responding to symptoms that one is exhibits such as for fever, if its coughing one is giving medication to suppress the cough.
However, Dr. Amoth said that there are many trials that are being undertaken and the most quoted is hydro-chloroquine and an antibiotic called Azithromycin which is locally available .
Meanwhile the CS noted that today President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke with the 26-year-old Ivy Brenda Cherono who was the first patient to test positive for the Coronavirus after she was discharged from Mbagathi Hospital via teleconference
Cherono was accompanied by Brian Orindi, patient number three who contracted the disease from her, CS Kagwe said noting that their recovery should be a testimony that Kenyans must understanding that contracting of the disease is not a license to death .
By Wangari Ndirangu