Kenya to expand its mandate in efforts towards finding a COVID-19 vaccine

covid 19 Editor's Pick Nairobi Universal Healthcare

The government has resolved that the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) should expand its mandate to cover matters related to efforts towards finding a vaccine for Covid-19.
A press statement from Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe indicates that globally, Covid-19 seems to be making a comeback with a vengeance and for us in Kenya, the cases in the counties seem to be growing.
“Today (Monday), NERC, which I chair, held a meeting to review implications of the ongoing pandemic. The meeting, which was attended by all the members and also graced by His Excellency the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, noted the increasing significance of a viable vaccine in the containment of the spread of Covid-19,” said Kagwe.
Kagwe said that Kemri-Wellcome Trust gave an update on the ongoing research between the institution, Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University.
The CS added that Kenya, through KEMRI-Wellcome Trust, is one of the seven countries participating in this research. The other countries are the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, United States of America and India.
“It is expected that from across all these countries, there will be 60,000 participants in the trials before the end of the year. While KEMRI continues to collaborate with Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University in the trials for this vaccine, the Government remains open to other collaborative opportunities. In this regard, KEMRI will collaborate with researchers from other countries such as South Korea, India, Singapore and China among others,” said Kagwe.
On the latest Covid-19 situation, Kagwe said that 302 people have tested positive for the virus Monday, from a sample size of 3,038 tested in the last 24 hours, bringing to 83,618 the number of confirmed positive cases in the country. The cumulative tests are now 888,971. From the cases 286 are Kenyans while 16 are foreigners. 191 are males and 111 females. The youngest is a one-year old baby, while the oldest is 83.
Saying 17 patients have succumbed to the disease bringing the cumulative fatalities to 1,469, Kagwe added that Monday, 369 patients recovered from the disease, 287 from the Home-Based Care programme, while 82 have were discharged from various hospitals. Total recoveries now stand at 55,344.
There are 1,282 patients admitted in various health facilities countrywide and 8,405 on Home Based Isolation and Care. 72 patients are in Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 47 of whom are on ventilatory support, and 23 on supplemental oxygen. Another 92 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen out of whom 72 are in the general wards. 20 are in High Dependency Unit (HDU).
Distribution of the cases by Counties is Nairobi 134, Kajiado 26, Kisumu 17, Kitui 16, Marsabit 16, Nyeri 16, Mombasa 13, Meru 13, Machakos 13, Nakuru 9, Kiambu 9, Uasin Gishu 8, Embu 2, Busia 2, Kilifi 1, Laikipia 1, Murang’a 1, Kakamega 1, Makueni 1, Samburu 1, Tana River 1, Kericho 1.
Distribution of cases by sub counties is as follows; In Nairobi, the 134 cases are from Dagoretti North (18), Starehe (14), Lang’ata (13), Westlands (11), Embakasi West (9), Makadara (8), Embakasi East, Kibra and Roysambu (7) cases each, Kasarani and Mathare (6) cases each, Dagoretti South, Embakasi North, Embakasi South and Kamukunji (5) cases each, Embakasi Central and Ruaraka (4) cases each.
In Kajiado, the 26 cases are from Kajiado Central (16), Kajiado North (7) and Kajiado East (3). In Kisumu, all the 17 cases are from Kisumu Central. In Kitui, all the 16 cases are from Kitui Central. In Marsabit, all the 16 cases are from Saku.
In Nyeri, the 16 cases are from Nyeri Central (9), Mathira East (6) and Kieni East (1). In Mombasa, the 13 cases are from Jomvu (7), Mvita (4), Changamwe and Kisauni (1) case each. In Meru, the 13 cases are from Imenti North (12) and Tigania West (1).
In Machakos, the 13 cases are from Machakos Town (9), Athi River (2), Kathiani and Yatta (1) case each. In Nakuru, all the 9 cases are from Naivasha, while in Kiambu, the 9 cases are from Juja, Kiambaa, Kikuyu and Ruiru (2) cases each, Kiambu Town (1). In Uasin Gishu, all the 8 cases are from Ainabkoi. The 2 cases in Embu, are from Manyatta and Mbeere South (1) case each, while the 2 cases in Busia, are from Matayos and Teso South (1) case each.
The case in Kilifi, is from Kaloleni, the case in Laikipia, is from Laikipia West, the case in Murang’a, is from Gatanga, the case in Kakamega, is from Lurambi, the case in Makueni, is from Mbooni, the case in Samburu, is from Samburu East, the case in Tana River, is from Garsen, and one case from Ainamoi in Kericho.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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