Kenya has today recorded the highest number of positive cases since the COVID 19 pandemic struck the country.
Out of 6,754 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 796 people have tested positive for the disease brings to 15,601 the number of positive cases in the country so far and pushing the cumulative samples tested to 261,027.
Giving an update of the COVID 19 situation in the country, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said that from today’s cases 793 are Kenyans while three are foreigners.
She added that out of today’s number, 503 are males and 293 are females with the youngest case being one-year-old infant, while the oldest is 87.
The CAS further said that in terms of distribution, Nairobi is still leading with 539 cases, followed by Kiambu 63, Machakos 57, Kajiado 37, Migori 26, Kericho 15, Narok 11, Uasin Gishu 11, Laikipia 9, Nakuru 7, Busia 6, Mombasa 4, Kisii 3. Muranga 2, Siaya 2 while Embu, Kisumu, Nyeri and Trans Nzoia have 1 case each.
On a positive note, Dr. Mwangangi said that 378 patients have recovered from the disease and out of this number 199 are from the home-based care program, while 179 are from various hospitals, bringing the total number of recoveries to 7,135.
“Sadly, we have lost 3 patients from the disease, bringing our total fatality to 263”, the CAS said
Dr. Mwangangi noted that health emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic usually result in an increase in violence incidence particularly among the vulnerable groups of women, girls and children
“ The increase in violence cases predominantly gender-based, has been witnessed globally, and Kenya has not been spared either and we have witnessed a 7 percent increase in the number of all forms of violence incidents.
She explained that from March to June this year compared to a similar period last year, counties particularly Wajir, Turkana, Kisii, Nandi, Lamu, Homabay and Kisumu, have recorded a 30 percent increase in cases of violence, since the beginning of the pandemic.
She added that close to 5,000 rape survivors have received medical treatment in health facilities during this period of the Pandemic while children below 18 years bear the greatest burden, as they comprise 70 percent of these survivors with 5 percent of these survivors being male.
“The disruption of social networks and loss of income were all meant to address the Covid-19 pandemic, and not intended to trigger or indeed become an excuse for any forms of violence”, she said but acknowledged that unemployment, inability to provide for families and economic uncertainty, may have added an extra strain of pressure and heightened anxiety for many families”, the CAS said.
Dr. Mwangangi said the government has instituted a raft of measures to mitigate the social upheavals and encouraged members of the public to take advantage of the measures to cushion themselves but also urged Health workers to be sympathetic to victims of violence, including gender-based, by managing both the physical and emotional trauma.
Dr. Francis Kuria, Director Public health said that as the rising numbers of COVID numbers continue to rise, health care workers are also recording high cases and that currently there are over 500 who have contracted the disease.
“70 percent of the cases are reported in facilities across the board and even the small clinics in town and also the informal sector thus health care workers should have PPEs ready since they never know the likely suspect who can appear in the facilities with COVID symptoms”, Dr. Kuria said
Dr. Kepha Ombacho, Head of the environmental health department said there are guidelines on the waste management of masks which goes beyond urban and rural areas and also in home-based care and urged all to be responsible in the way they are disposing of the masks as waste saying although in the rural areas pit latrine is the best appropriate measure, for the urban centers it’s important to follow the guidelines as given since the Corona Virus can stay in some places for several days,
“It would be very counterproductive for one to use a mask that has already been used since it might have been contaminated,”, Dr. Ombacho said
By Wangari Ndirangu