Kenya has today recorded 12 deaths, the highest number ever recorded in a single day due to coronavirus and this brings now the total number of fatalities in the country to 197.
All the deaths are Nairobi County, nine from various hospitals, while the three are community deaths.
Giving an update on the Covid 19 situation in the country, the Health Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mutahi Kagwe said despite the loses the were 65 patients who were discharged from various hospitals bringing to 2,946 the number of recoveries from the disease in the country.
The CS who also officially handed over vehicles on Monday that will boost capacity in contact tracing and surveillance in 13 counties said todays COVID-19 statistics has seen 189 people testing positive from a sample size of 1,205 tested in the last 24 hours bringing to 10,294 the number of those who have tested positive so far in the country.
“This pushes our cumulative tests figures to 216, 242. In terms of gender 106 are males and 83 are females while the youngest is a five (5) year old child and the oldest is 71”, the CS said.
Kagwe continued that Nairobi is still leading with the highest number of positives at 147, followed by Kiambu 20, Machakos 11, Kajiado 5, Mombasa 2, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Laikipia and Kericho have one (1) case each.
The distribution of the cases by sub counties is that in Nairobis 147 cases are in Dagoretti North (77), Embakasi East (10), Makadara (10), Embakasi South (9), Kibra (9), Embakasi West (6), Langata (4), Kamukunji and Kasarani (2) cases each while Dagoretti South, Embakasi Central and Embakasi North have one (1) case each.
In Kiambu, the 20 cases are in Kiambu Town (6), Kikuyu, Kabete, Kiambaa, Ruiru and Thika have two (2) cases each, while in Machakos, the (11) cases are in Athi River (7), Machakos (3), and Masinga (1). In Gatundu South, Githunguri, Juja and Limuru have one (1) case each. In Kajiado, the 5 cases are in Kajiado North (4), and Kajiado East (1). The 2 cases in Mombasa are in Kisauni and Nyali.
The CS noted that the last week which has seen number of more and more infections rising means that the numbers are rising and people therefore should stop being in denial about the existence of the virus and its devastating consequences.
When flagging off the surveillance vehicles, CS Kagwe noted that contact tracing is a critical tool for controlling the pandemic through interruption of the transmission chain by early detection and isolation of cases.
He explained that all Counties are required to have rapid response/contact tracing and so far there are 229 teams in all the counties.
“The National Response and Contact tracing team, is currently conducting training for these teams on the usage of the web based tool and data management.
“Initially, we were using telephone calls to get in touch with the contacts, but we are now rolling out a web based application, which is linked to the Kenya electronic medical records”, the CS said .
Transport has been one of the key challenges identified especially in accessing the rural areas as the Government works at providing of quality health care, he said adding that the vehicles which have been procured by the COVID 19 Health Emergency Response Project (C-HREP) at a cost of Shs.102 million
These vehicles to be handed over to 13 counties, namely Nairobi which will get two vehicles one for Kenyatta National Hospital and the other, for the newly formed Nairobi Metropolitan Services, Mombasa, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos, Nyeri, Migori, Busia, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Taita Taveta, Elgeyo Marakwet and Kisii will boost capacity in contact tracing and surveillance as the government curtails the spread of the virus in the country.
Asked about Pumwani hospital where 22 nurses have been confirmed of COVID, Kagwe said that the government is working round the clock to ensure that all is well considering there are infants,
“ we will not be closing the hospital but through checks are being done to establish the status before any action is taken” he said
Dr. Francis Kuria , Director Public Health confirmed that the testing that is currently going on is for those that have come out of surveillance and alerts.
He warned those who are seeking testing services and now jumping from hospoital to hospital are a scared lot. ” Kenyans have become scared of COVID but government has drawn out a different strategy that is focused targeted testing that is syndromic” Dr. Kuria said
He clarified that those tests either mass or targeted or even those from the hotline are completely free but noted that for those individuals who are visiting the hospital to get tested, the public hospital is charging 1,000 while the private hospital is slightly more around sh 5000.
By Wangari Ndirangu