Five more patients succumbed to Covid 19 disease bringing the number of fatalities to 487 as another 271 people tested positive for the Corona Virus.
The fresh infections were detected from 4,019 samples that were tested over the last 24 hours further pushing the figures of those who have turned positive since the highly infectious disease was confirmed in the country to 30,636 from a cumulative tests to 398,585.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid while giving an update on the status of the pandemic at the KMTC , Karen, said 178 of the new cases were males while the remaining 93 were females with the youngest case being a one year old baby and the oldest was 80 years old.
He 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 , muranga, Kisumu , Kilifi , taita taveta and tana River have 3 each.
Nandi, nyeri, Marsabit have two cases each while Kirinyaga, Vighiga, 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 were discharged from various hopsitals. This now brings the total number of recoveries to 17,368.
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 .
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
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 today6 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 public 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 was a good indication that the country was gradually making strides in flattening the curve going by the reduced number of fatalities in Mombasa and the number of hospitalized patients which have lately gone 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