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COVID 19 Claims Seven as Infections Soars

Seven more people succumbed to Covid 19 related ailments as infections curve continued to record a worrying trend barely a week after the government eased measures to contain the spread of the highly contagious pandemic.

The latest fatalities now brings to 209 the number of deaths as infection tally reached 11,252  after another 461 people Last Wednesday tested positive to the disease.

The fresh cases were detected from 4,261 samples submitted for testing during the last 24 hours as health officials confirmed that at least 225,495 specimens have so far been taken for testing.

In terms of gender 320 are males and 141 are females while the youngest is a one year old infant and the oldest is 86.

Giving an update on Copvid 19 situation in the country, health Chief Adminstrative Secretary (CAS ) dr. Rashid Aman said the positive cases have 432 Kenyans and 29 foreigners while 320 are males and 141 are females.

The distribution of the cases by counties is  Nairobi  has 248, followed by  Machakos (97) Kiambu (20), Kajiado (15), Migori (14), Busia (12), Nakuru (11), Laikipia (7), Nyeri (7), Kilifi (6), Lamu (4), Uasin Gishu (4), Kakamega (3), Kisii (3) Kisumu have (2), Makueni (2), Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Bomet have one (1) case each.

The government has also today  discharged  51 patients  various hospitals bringing to 3,068 the number of recoveries from the disease in the country but also lost seven (7) patients to the disease bringing our fatality to 209.

Dr. Aman said that there is need for  infection prevention and control measures to minimize health workers, and patients exposure to COVID 19 in our healthcare facilities

He noted that Health workers handling patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease, face an increased risk of exposure to the virus and this has seen some of them infected in the course of their duties

“When health workers are at risk, we are all at risk. COVID 19 infections of Health workers have been reported in many countries. Here at home, 450 of our valiant healthcare workers are currently infected, and we have so far lost four of them to the disease”, he said .

He named yesterday’s  case where  the  Pumwani Maternity Hospital another 22 healthcare workers were  found to be infected making this  a public health priority for  the government to understand the risk factors to avert further occupational transmission.

“The occupational health risk to health care workers posed by COVID-19 has attracted global and national concern and as a government we  will continue to place extreme importance on protection of healthcare workers, by ensuring that they have the right protective gear, and if infected they receive proper care”, he said

Infection Prevention and Control strategies in order to limit transmission in healthcare settings that the government is working towards will see Isolating patients with suspected COVID infection and encouraging Health care workers to have a high level of clinical suspicion.

They should also establish a well-equipped triage station at the entrance of every health care facility, supported by trained staff  to promote hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene as essential preventive measures.

To further reduce the risk of transmission of the disease among healthcare workers,  \Dr. Rashid said that there is need to monitor them to comply with standard precautions, and providing mechanisms for improvement as needed. This can be done through regular health worker risk assessments, adjusting work flow processes to ensure rapid triaging, and separation of suspected COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Patrick Amoth, Ag. Director General Ministry of health said that in terms of projections of Covid 19, the numbers will increase as we approach our peak what this means is that deaths will  also significantly rise and this is worrying.

He gave an example of todays 7 deaths that occurred  saying  two of them had  no co existing medical conditions .

“ What this means is that infections are getting  and  coming in a more serious form and and I want to warn the  young people  to take precaution and  be wary since they can be unlucky and succumb to it”, he said .

He however noted that health care system has been resilient  and responded well and that people are able to get services even at  after 10 day lifting of the restrictions of movements,.

As at today, Dr. Amoth said 1049 people  are admitted across hospitals in the country and out of this 39 are in ICU, with 21 of them  are under ventilatory support and 18 requiring supplemental oxygen .

With the numbers having not changed in the last three days, Dr. Amoth hoped that the scenario will  be obtained going forward.

On the issue of Pumwani hospital,  he explained that 41 out of 290 health care workers  who tested positive  for Covid 19, 2, have recovered and 39 are on home based care in isolation with the ministry supporting them through capacity building and sensitization  on case management, provision of PPEs and ramping up infection prevention control guidelines in the hospital.

“We have closed common areas such as the Tea room  in the hospital , establishment isolation facilities for health care workers  by  Nairobi metropolitan for workers who do not qualify for home care , and they are  being offered psychosocial support”, he said

The good thing , Dr. Amoth said that none of 329 are symptomatic or  have  any underlying condition so  hopeful hey  they will pull through “, he noted adding that commencement of testing for  the remaining  100 workers  is ongoing.

On the issue of progress on Vaccine for COVID 19, by Mordemas, a  clinical stage biotechnology company in America, Dr. Amoth explained it  was exciting  and they are using a new approach by using part of the virus in the body which stimulates formation of protein  found in Corona and enables it to attach and infect the other cells.

“Once it injects the others , this ensures the body naturally produces an immune reaction formation of antibodies and this is what is needed ,  if it’s in sufficient quantities  and one gets into contact with corona virus the anti-body then  will neutralize it and prevent one from getting infection”, he said

Currently, Dr. Amoth said the trials have undergone the phase  that included  45 people who  developed  antibodies , now it will move to  phase two  and be tested  test in d thousands before moving to  phase three   which will monitor for safety and immune reactions in 100s of thousands .

The  DG also cautioned that despite the good progress, if it would come to fruition , the first world would be the ones to access it first before it makes its way into the third world because of the dynamics

By Wangari Ndirangu


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