The Global COVID-19 pandemic cases globally stand in excess of 2.5 million, with 653,000 recoveries and 170,000 deaths.
Here in Kenya, cases have been rising every day and in the last 24 hours out of the tested 545 samples, fifteen (15) persons have tested positive for Coronavirus disease bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 296 .
Briefing the Media on Wednesday on the status of coronavirus in the country and the response measures the government is undertaking today , the Health Chief Administration Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said
Eleven of the confirmed cases today are Kenyans while four are foreign nationals. Seven out of the 15 are from Mombasa; six are from Nairobi and two from Mandera County.
“None have a recent history of travel, seven are males and Eight females and all are aged between 10 and 75 years of age”, she said
The CAS noted that only Six out of the confirmed cases are from our quarantine centres and nine were picked up by surveillance teams, saying this is a clear indication that the infection is increasingly growing within communities and therefore very critical that we strictly observe the containment measures.
She added that five patients have recovered and discharged bringing a total of 74 recoveries and a total of 14,417 samples have been tested so far.
A total of 2,851 contacts have been monitored, she noted out of which 2,121 have been discharged and that 730 contacts are being followed at the moment.
Dr. Mwangangi noted that the strategy that has been formulated and agreed globally as the most effective way of fighting the disease based on four pillars testing, isolating, treating and tracing and which Kenya has adopted can only become applicable when preventive measures of hand washing social distancing and general hygiene and quarantine have failed.
“We have ramped up our capacity in all the four pillars. We do not want to get there. I therefore want to urge all people to continue observing these simple, but very effective containment measures”, she said
The CAS has however, warned those cynical Kenyans who still hold the view that this disease is not real, saying this is very particularly in light of the growing numbers of people infected.
“As we continue in this fight, we note that there are some of us who continue to disobey the measures and regulations announced by the Government. I would like to remind you that we are in a war situation, against an enemy that is not a respecter of age, status, gender, race or religion”, she said
Some of the young people, Dr. Mwangangi said who deliberately break curfew regulations due to the false belief that they cannot catch this disease are very wrong.
She named surfaces that include groceries in supermarkets that that are likely to be contaminated and aid in the transmission of the virus especially cashiers handling of goods when payment is being done at the counter and urged Supermarkets to devise innovative ways to address the matter.
Dr. Mwangangi thanked all individuals and corporates who have so far contributed to this containment effort particularly the Kenya Air force who have deployed two aircrafts flying banners with the message to ‘stay at home’ and to thank our healthcare workers for their effort.
“I want to also thank the Kenya Editors Guild together with Kenya Medical Association and Association of Nurses for initiating a campaign dubbed ‘Saa Sita’ . In this campaign, at midday every Wednesday, all will stop and clap for the healthcare worker to appreciate the role healthcare workers are playing during this time of COVID-19”, she added.
Dr. Mwangangi further acknowledged the contribution of mobile network providers for their contribution to the national covid-19 campaign effort.
“ Safaricom, through its foundation, and on top of other donations made so far, has further contributed thermal cameras worth Ksh. 10 million to expand our screening capability”, she said .
Additionally, Dr. Mwangangi added that Safaricom is considering supporting healthcare workers with a free communication package that will include 3 months’ internet bundles and airtime.
By Wangari Ndirangu