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271 people turn positive for COVID 19

271 people have today tested positive for Corona Virus after 4,019 samples were tested in the  last 24 hours.

This  now brings the number of positives cases to 30,636 and cumulative tests to 398,585.

From this cases 178 are males and 93 females while the youngest case is a one year old baby and  the oldest is 80 years.

Giving  an update on Tuesday on the status of COVID 19 in the country at the KMTC Karen, the Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Rashid  Aman said the distribution of cases  has seen Nairobi record 99 cases, followed by Kiambu 20, Laikipia 20 , Migori and Uasin Gishu 18 each and Busia 12.

Lamu  and Samburu have recorded 11 cases each followed by Turkana which has 10 cases,

Kajiado has 9, Makueni , Garissa , Nakuru have 4 each while Mombasa, Machakos , Murang’a, Kisumu , Kilifi , Taita Taveta and Tana River have 3 each  while Nandi, Nyeri, Marsabit have two cases each while Kirinyaga, Vihiga,Embu and  Kitui recorded on  case  each.

The  CAS  noted that today 208 patients have recovered from the disease, 166 from the home based  care while 42 have been discharged from various hopsitals. This now brings the total number of  recoveries to 17,368.

Sadly, Dr. Rashid said that the country has lost 5 patients to the disease brining the total  number of fatalities to 487.

Just before the briefing, Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) donated  Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to assist the health care workers at the Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa County.

“The government appreciates the continuous support from IGAD towards addressing the pandemic in the region and in particular targeting the border counties both in kind and in Cash”, he said .

The  IGAD Executive Secretary Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu said all members states are working  closely especially in the border areas , pastoralist and migrant areas to address the COVID 19  menace.

Dr. Gabeyehu added that coordination for the 7 member countries at this time of challenge will  ensure they overcome this problem through combined efforts.

He said that apart from the COVID crisis, IGAD member states are also dealing with the challenge of Food security with floods and also locust menace making this a triple threat thus  rolling out of a joint regional response.

The  Garissa Governor, Ali  Korane  said that 80 percent of infections in the county are in  Dadaab Refugee Camp and therefore the PPEs  that were donated today by IGAD will help in  prevention of further infections in the camps.

On the issue of County preparedness, Governor  Korane said that the rural infrastructure is  very fragile and inadequate but since the pandemic started, they have made great efforts to ensure that they prepare for the worst case scenario and so far is satisfied with the  preparations that have been made.

Commensurate with the number of infections in our county, and also on our own projections, As  a county we are ready for this pandemic . currently we have 294 isolation beds including those  in the refugee camps. We have 108 beds which will be complete this week and we are going to  start another facility for 50 more beds which will take 3 weeks”, he said

Korane, however came out and challenged the government to change the messaging of COVID 19 to be neutral especially for the young people and infants who are predominantly getting the  disease now.

“The government should now change the messaging to the youth who have become reckless  thinking that they cannot get the disease , unlike before when it was emphasizing on the  elderly or those with underlying disease”, he said .

There has been a delay in the release of results to some quarantined patients and Head of  Directorate of Hublic Health, Dr. Francis Kuria said they aware of some continuing delay in results and as a ministry have addressed this by developing new guidelines to other testing laboratories in terms of when they release results to get better.

“it is however not delay in testing but it’s a question of releasing of results arising from case investigation form arriving in the labs”, he clarified

On the positive cases that have now been reported going down, Dr. Kuria cautioned saying before people say that the curve is flattening , they should be aware that the number of tests that are being done today as not as much as those that were being tested three weeks ago

He however noted that there are good indicators in terms of reduced reduction in case fatalities such as in Mombasa where it has gone down , but he noted that the best indicator is the number of those that are in hospitals start going down and also the deaths going down, then then we can probably say that the curve is going down,

“The country’s positivity rate, has remained always the same as it was at 5 percent and therefore we should not rejoice because we have to assess it further using other indicators”, he said, calling upon Kenyans not to relent on wearing of masks, social distancing and also  washing of hands.

By  Wangari  Ndirangu

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