Fourteen more Kenyans were last Friday found infected with Coronavirus although none of the samples tested during the latest exercise were taken from the major hotspots that were placed under lockdown two days ago.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Rashid Aman said most of the the samples were taken by the surveillance teams in various parts of the country including Machakos which becomes the latest county to confirm the first case of the disease.
“ Ministry will continue to conduct targeted testing in high risk areas noting that out of 922 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 14 people have tested positive bringing the total number of Covid cases to 621 “ he said.
He said the major Covid 19 hotspots of Nairobi’s Eastliegh and Mombasa old town were not sampled in the latest testing’s a clear indication that the highly infectious disease was widely within the community.
He told the daily update on the status of the pandemic in the country that the current heavy rains that has wreaked havoc and displacement thousands of Kenyans from their posed a great challenge to the fight against Covid 19.
“The displaced people have been forced to congregate in makeshift camps, with the risk of bonding together which exposes them to the possibility of contracting the virus”, he said .
However, Dr. Rashid said they are working with County Governments and other agencies to educate them on containment measures against Covid-19.
On the issue of cross border truck drivers, Dr. Rashid said that the Ministry of Health is expanding testing capacity all the Counties and this will enable truck drivers to be tested from the point of origin of their journey.
237 Kenyans who had gone to India for treatment yesterday came back into the country.
The patients who were accompanied by their caregivers were received by the Ministry of Health staff who facilitated their arrival and were accommodated in hotels at the government expense as they were being processed to proceed home for self-quarantine.
The overall number of samples that have been tested in the country so far are 29,430, the CAS added saying that so far 19 counties have been affected.
Disaggregation of the positive cases today by counties is that Nairobi has recorded 10, Mombasa 3 and Machakos has 1.
“Machakos becomes the latest county to record a positive case bringing to nineteen the number of counties that have registered cases of the disease”, he said .
He explained that 13 cases were picked by the surveillance teams while one case is from the quarantine facility and added that the spread of the cases today by estate is that four are from Kasarani, two from Makadara and one each from Umoja 1, South C, Irigu in Dagoretti South, and Machakos while one on mandatory quarantine.
The three in Mombasa are from Likoni while the one case in Machakos is from Athi River, he added saying that their age distribution ranges from 11 months for the youngest to 49 years for the oldest
In terms of gender, nine (9) are males and five (5) are females dr. Rashid said adding that today there are 5 discharges bringing the total number of discharges to 202.
He reiterated on the importance of cooperation in the fight against Covid especially for those who have been restricted from moving in and out of the designated counties
Although many Kenyans have risen to the challenge and are strictly abiding by the directive issued, the CAS said there are a few individuals who still want to play hide and seek by using unofficial routes to move in and out of these restricted areas.
“I want to remind such individuals that such behavior is not heroic, and can very quickly erode all the gains so far made”, he said
Dr. Rashid has appealed to all Kenyans to be understanding and warmly receive those who have recovered from the disease saying it is important to cooperate in the fight
. “It is one in which quick victory can only be possible when all of us fight together. I therefore urge each and every one of us to continue observing the guidelines outlined, and to practice the containment measures advocated for by the Ministry of Health”, the CAS said.
Health Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth said so far 34 health care workers out of 621` have tested positive either directly but also indirectly for Covid 19 contributing to about 5.5 percent of cases in the country.
However, the DG said that so far there is no mortality or death of any care worker who are in the ones in frontline and at high risk of contracting the disease.
In terms of sample tested so far, Dr. Amoth explained that out of the over 29,000 tested cases , around 21,000 are index or primary tests while the otherscare repeats to see whether some have recovered of those who tested positive in the first incident.
He noted that the automatic testing that is being done especially in areas such as Eastleigh was not done yesterday because of the kits are being low and currently the tests are being done through manual extraction.
However, Dr. amoth said that today evening they are expecting a shipment of 8,064 tests kits for automatic tests and 16,000 more by next week on Wednesday that will ensure scale up of targeted testing.
In order to recognize the patriotic fight for the health caregivers, ABSA bank through their Managing Director Jeremy Awori today donated 220,000 masks
The 200,000 medical surgical masks and another 10,000 N95 masks will support the front line health care workers in Kenyatta National hospital, Mbagathi, Kenyatta University referall hospital and also in Mombasa Coast General hospital and others where cases have been rising.
“The PPE equipment is critical in day to day fight for health care workers and this donation that is worth Ksh 15 million will support the care workers who are doing a diligent job in difficult circumstances.”, Awori who is also a member of the covid 19 emergency fund said during the briefing
Recently the ABSA bank also donated Ksh 50 million towards the Covid 19 emergency fund..
By Wangari Ndirangu