Kenya on Sunday registered a record number of Covid 19 infections in a day after thirty more people tested positive to the viral disease bringing the national tally to 465.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Rashid Aman said the 30 fresh infections were sampled out of 883 people tested in a span of 24 hours.
“Out of the 30 cases, 19 are from Mombasa, 8 from Nairobi, 2 from Bungoma and 1 from kitui and are all aged between 4 years and 64 years” he said
Giving an update on the status of Coronavirus in the country Rashid said Bungoma becomes the latest County to be affected by the virus bringing to 16 the total number of Counties that have so far recorded Covid-19 cases.
“What this also means is that the disease is spreading across the country and also within the estates”, he said adding that the total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 465.
Today’s cases 23 males and 7 females are distributed in the estates namely Nairobi where they are 2 from Kawangware , Eastleigh has 5 and Kibera has one.
In Mombasa, the cases are from Mvita which recorded 15 Kisauni has 3, and Likoni 1. In Kitui, there is 1 case is from Mwingi town while the two cases from Bungoma County are truck drivers.
Dr. Rashid sadly noted that the country also lost 2 more patients from Mombasa but on a positive note recorded 15 recoveries.
Despite governments efforts in ensuring targeted testing is ongoing in high risk areas as part of measures to control the disease, the CAS has noted a low turnout of people who are going for the testing.
“The outcome of the testing exercise so far has shown a very low turnout in some of these areas. In the last two days, the testing teams have tested 803 against a target of 2000 in Kawangware, 494 in Eastleigh against a target of 3000”, Dr. Rashid said
He reminded Kenyans that there are countries where people beg to be tested, yet their governments are unable to do so giving an example of yesterday’s testing in Kawangware that confirmed seven (7) new cases an indication that the disease in now firmly within our communities.
“The Ministry of Health has acquired the testing capacity to undertake targeted testing, but the willingness to be tested is low. I want to appeal to Kenyans especially those in hotspots to willingly come forward to be tested if we have to flatten our infections and minimize the risk of transmission”, he said
Regarding quarantine, the CAS said that there has been extensive debate on the status of those arrested for breaking curfew rules noting that such individuals will not be accommodated at government quarantine facilities but instead the Inspector General has been directed by the NERC to designate a curfew breakers place where they must be able to meet the social distancing requirement.
The government, he added has also observed that some mosques have revised prayer time and are now opening for prayers at night during this month of Ramadhan and urged all the religious leaders to stop this practice forthwith, failure of which legal action in accordance with Public Health Act shall be taken against them.
The government, Dr Rashid said has also observed the casual attitude with which some of people are not observing measures put and named the transport sector namely matatus, and bodaboda operators and also hotelierswho have gone back to the only normal ways.
“My appeal therefore to hoteliers, transport industry and everyone else is to abide by the containment measures already highlighted. If we do not, the spread of this diseases will be extensive, and will be very difficult to contain”, Dr. Rashid said.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha clarified that schools will still remain closed for the next one month despite calls and rumours that they will reopen for second term.
“As I have alluded to earlier a lot of things will determine whether we open schools and we are discussing as the NERC meetings”, he said noting that going by the ongoing facts on Covid children should stay at home an if there was any pronouncement on any matter education, it will be communicated at the right time
“It is disturbing to hear that parents and public thinking of opening schools and issues of fees. This is a medical crisis it’s not economic, and we must control the medical crisis first”, Prof. Magoha said.
He emphasized that Kenyans should not pretend like the disease is a Kenyan thing but should know it is worldwide warning that our culture is going to get us where we do not want to go and our behavioural might lead us to doomsday.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc globally with the current global Covid-19 disease situation standing at 3,018, 952 having tested positive for the virus. Out of this 207,973 have died. In Africa, the confirmed cases stand 23,254, and fatalities are 903.
By Wangari Ndirangu