Another Covid 19 patient has succumbed to the highly contagious disease bringing the death toll to ten
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe regretted the latest fatality but said confirmed that 12 patients were discharged pushing the number of those who have so far fully recovered from the pandemic to 52.
He however expressed fears that the disease was fast slithering into the counties after nine fresh infections were reported but the new patients neither had a history of ever travelled out of the country nor were held in any of the quarantined centres.
“ In the last 24 hours, 803 samples were tested out of which 9 have tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total to 225” he said.
Kagwe told the nation during the daily update on the status of the pandemic in the country that all of the nine cases were Kenyans who presented themselves to various health facilities with symptoms of the disease raising fears that the disease might have widely spread.
He said five of the cases were from Nairobi while four others were detected in from Mombasa with their ages ranging between 9 and 69 years.
The CS said atleast of 2336 contacts have been monitored, out 0f which 1,911 have been released and that an additional 455 contacts were being followed at the moment.
He revealed that a high level team from the ministry led by Acting Director General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth was dispatched to Siaya County to assess the status of the quarantine and isolation facilities in the area.
And in a related development the government has received a consignment of Covid 19 protective gears from the World Health Organization (WHO) to bolster fight against spread of the pandemic.
Kagwe confirmed receipt of at least 18,900 swabs and viral transport medium, 18,912 extraction kits, 3790 medical disposable protective clothing, ventilation machines, thermometer guns and medical gloves from JAK Ma foundation from China
It has also received another consignment of surgical masks, gloves, face shields, gowns from china, Germany and France through the world health organization WHO.
He said more PPEs were set to be distribute before the end of the week even as government tries to optimize the capacity of the kits available.
Currently the government is undertaking mass testing, isolating and treating which the CS noted will be a game changer as the approach will isolate cases including those asymptomatic in good time before they spread.
“Using the risk profile approach, we are working around the clock to double sample collection and testing capacity” he said
One of the main dampers to the mass testing plan , the CS said had been lack of enough reagents owing to the unavailability in the global supply chain which now has been addressed.
Despite the development, CS kagwe cautioned Kenyans not to relent in the fight and drop their guard going by the local figures compared to those in worst affected scenarios saying their statistics were at one time at our level.
“You will not that our 4.6 percent death rate is within the global range of 6.3 percent . our figures should therefore not delude or deceive you into dropping the ball”, he warned.
He insisted that contract tracing, isolation, quarantine, testing, social distancing, face masks and basic hygiene will make the difference if all were to enforce the measures with religious zeal.
Dr Evanson Kamuri as the chief executive officer of Kenyatta National Hospital KNH said the isolation ward had only the positive cases and most of whom were under good care .
He emphasized that there is no particular cure for Corona virus but the medics addressing symptomatic management and the more its maintained the patients recover.
“People must take this thing seriously since the virus behaves differently depending on the host,so we should not relent because people are getting well”, he insisted
He took the opportunity to urge those under quarantine to observe restraint and cooperate with the heath care workers instead of venting hostility as their isolation was for the common good of the nation.
Dr. Kamuri confirmed that mass testing for health care workers which began earlier in the week so far found that none of the staff was infected.
“ We are doing targeted testing and started with front liners and are moving to accident, ICUs and Emergency units before we do the second round all over again” he explained.
By Wangari Ndirangu