The government has adopted and enhanced approach to address the spread of the virus in the country.
This approach is centered on communities with the government working closely with various community based groups, which include, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, to continue educating people on how to contain the spread of the virus.
This approach has ensured that correct information reaches households to demystify myths and misconceptions on Covid-19 and it is important if behavior change that is necessary in flattening the infection curve is achieved
Speaking on Monday during the Covid 19 briefing at afya House, the Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi named the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Busia and Kajiado who are continuing to experience an upsurge of infections.
He however noted that with majority of the cases being asymptomatic, it is only practical for the government to roll out the home based program.
“The success of this program, nonetheless requires active participation of all of us, from the patients and caregivers at home, to health care providers in formal health facilities to ensure continued care, monitoring, and even referral of patients”, she said.
The CAS further said that community structures, such as community health committees, Nyumba Kumi initiatives, estates management committees, and local administration, have a role to play in mitigating community transmission.
The government, she noted has over 59,000 trained Community Health Volunteers, who have been deployed in all the 47 counties, and have so far been able to reach over 12 million households.
“Our renewed focus is now to strengthen community engagement structures in the Counties as this is absolutely critical, particularly, now that we are talking of community spread of the virus”, she added.
On the COVID-19 numbers today, Dr. Mwangangi said the country has recorded 59 positive cases, from 2,354 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
This now brings to 4,797 positive cases in the country, and the total number of samples so far tested, is 142,366.
All the 59 positive cases today are Kenyans, with 47 being males and 12 females and the youngest case being 7 years old, while the oldest is 67.
The distribution of the cases by counties is Nairobi, (28), Mombasa, (21), Kilifi, (3), Kiambu, (2), Machakos, (2) Kisii, Bungoma and Uasin Gishu, have one (1) case each.
The cases are distributed in sub counties with Nairobi cases from Dagoretti North, (7), Kibra, (5), Embakasi East, (4), Embakasi North, (3), Westlands, (3), Embakasi West, (2) Embakasi Central, (2), Roysambu and Makadara, have one (1) case each.
In Mombasa, the 21 cases are in; Kisauni, (8), Likoni, (5), Mvita, (3), Nyali, (2), Changamwe, (2), Jomvu (1). In Kilifi, the 3 cases are one (1) each from Kaloleni, Kilifi North and Kilifi South, while in Kiambu, the 2 cases are one (1) each from Kiambaa and Thika. In Machakos, the case is in Athi River. In Kisii, the case is in Bobasi, while in Bungoma, the case is in Webuye, and in Uasin Gishu, the case is in Turbo.
Today, Dr. Mwangangi noted that the government had discharged 73 more patients from the various hospitals, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,680, Unfortunately she noted that 2 other patients have succumbed to the disease, bringing the total fatality to 125.
The CAS has today also warned Kenyans not to assume the rate of the spread of the virus because of the huge drop from yesterday’s CS Kagwe announcement of 260 positive cases.
“We are working on our communication strategy to remind Kenyans that the fight is still ongoing”.
Dr. Mwangangi has also reiterated the issue of cross border truck drivers, saying there is still a huge pile up of trucks at our borders points particularly in Busia.
This, she said clearly shows that the truck drivers are flouting our guidelines of not being tested at least 48 hours before they commence on their journey.
“ I urge all truck drivers and truck owners to cooperate for free and smooth movement at our borders to allow those who test negative to have seamless movement across the border”, Dr. Mwangangi said
The Ag. Director General, Dr. Patrick Amoth said there is progress by counties in putting up isolation facilities in the country noting that as at today morning 40 counties had given report on the progress of the facilities .
“ It is not only the physical structure that is needed but apart human capital is also required, trained health care workers trained on health management, , rapid response teams among others.
The government is working on translation of the home based care protocols and guidelines into the local language Kiswahili and local dialect so that all can be able to follow this interventions v because for home based care to succeed it will require personal responsibility of that person under home based care.
Dr. Amoth acknowledged that there are cases of patients testing positive even 5 to 7 times a timeline of one and a half months but recent data by WHO says despite them testing positive they are unable to transmit the diseases.
“ This is what is mitigated the new guideline that we have in place of 10 days and 3 days of no symptoms leaving one for discharge after the 14th day”, Dr. Amoth explained.
The Ministry of Health recently launched the Home-based Isolation and Care Protocols in line with WHO guidelines and International best practices and with the numbers of positive cases increasing, it might threaten to overburden healthcare systems.
By Wangari Ndirangu