Covid 19 Infections in the Country almost hit the 7000 mark after 268 more people tested positive to the highly infectious virus.
Over the past week the country has consistently recorded a daily average of 222 cases raising concerns over the spread of the pandemic at the community level
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) , Dr. Rashid Aman expressed fears that the latest figures were a clear indication that many Kenyans were not religiously observing the containment measures.
He told the nation during the daily update on the status of the pandemic at Afya House that despite stringent measures imposed to curb the spread of pandemic the disease was persistent.
He explained that the majority of the people who have succumbed to COVID-19, had underlying disease conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, which are Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) but whose burden to the health system was on the rise.
“ Hypertension is the commonest cardiovascular condition globally and the same applies in Kenya. It is estimated that 1.13 billion people live with this condition worldwide representing 31 percent of adult population. In Kenya about 6.1 million adult live with hypertension representing 24 percent of the adult population”, he said .
Dr. Rashid said that COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the people living with NCDs hence the Ministry, in collaboration with County Governments, has put up measures to ensure that NCD clinics remain operational during this period.
“We are further calling upon people living with diabetes and hypertension, to consume healthy diets based on the locally available foods “, he said.
The CS further noted that all the diabetes and hypertension clinics are operational and encouraged persons living with NCDs to visit the clinics for regular checkup, refilling of their medications and nutrition counselling.
Turning to the COVID-19 situation, today, Dr. Rashid said that 268 people have tested positive, out of a sample size of 2,704 bringing the case load of those confirmed to 6,941 out of the 176,059 cumulative samples so far tested.
Out of this number, he added that 259 are Kenyans while 9 are foreigners, with 160 males, and 108 females and the youngest is a one year old while the oldest is 80.
The cases are distributed in the counties with Nairobi registering the highest number at 175, followed by Mombasa 28, Busia 18, Kiambu 11, Kajiado 9, Migori 9, Uasin Gishu 8, Machakos 6, Narok (2), Makueni (1), and Muranga (1).
The distribution of the cases by Sub Counties is that Nairobi’s 175 cases are in; Dagoretti North (34), Kibra (29), Ruaraka, (24), Langata (21), Embakasi East (12), Westlands (11), Makadara (10), Starehe (7), Kasarani (6), Embakasi South, and Embakasi West (5) cases each. Embakasi Central (3), Embakasi North (2), Kamukunji (2), Mathare (2), Roysambu (2).
In Mombasa, the cases are in; Kisauni (12), Mvita (6), Jomvu (4), Nyali, (3). Changamwe (2) and Likoni (1), case .In Busia 18 cases are in; Teso South (12), Teso North (5), and Matayos (1). In Kiambu, the 11 cases are in, Kiambu Town (7), Ruiru (2), Juja and Thika, one (1) case each.
In Kajiado, the 9 cases are in Kajiado North (6), Kajiado East (2) and loitokitok one (1) while in Migori, the 9 cases are in; Kuria East, Kuria West and Suna (3) cases each. In Uasin Gishu, the 8 cases is in Ainabkoi and Turbo (3) cases each and Kapseret (2). In Machakos, the 6, are in Athi River (5) and Machakos Town, one (1).
All the (2) cases in Narok are from Narok North, while Makueni has (1) case in Kibwezi West and Muranga, has one (1), in Maragua.
The CAS confirmed that today t 20 patients have been discharged from various hospitals, bringing to 2,109 the total number of recoveries but the country has also lost three (3) more patient to the disease bringing to 152 fatality in the country.
Acting Director General Ministry of health Dr. Patrick Amoth said predominantly those who have died of Covid , majority have two existing conditions being with diabetes and hypertension which are the highest risk factor for COVID mortality, followed by diabetes’s alone , then hypertension and then others such as cancer.
Dr. Amoth said that it is interesting to note that for those who are HIV positive, the risk of death in Covid is minimal because of most are on either ART and retroviral therapy and adhering to treatment thus achieving viral suppression and immune system is good.
“ We want to appeal to those who have other pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and hypertension that adherence alone to prescribed medicine will make your exposure reduce and if you were COVID 19 risk of death would t significantly reduce”, he said
Stigma, Dr. Amoth also said is becoming a problem especially with the containment measures that are leading to anxiety and depression in Kenyans. “We need to demystify the myths of COVID and get the right information and develop a copying mechanism either from close family members or friends.
Dr. Amoth called on Kenyans to verify where they get their information and should not listen to too much information that makes them unhappy “ If you see a channel that is airing too much of Covid deaths switch off to another channel”.
He noted that the ministry is working with counties to ensure we scale down mental health through health community volunteers and also support those who test positive of Covid.
By Wangari Ndirangu