THE STAR 08/28/2020
The government has warned of a possible second wave of Covid-19 infections should there be public laxity or relaxation of containment measures.
As of Thursday, the country had recorded 33,389 positive cases after 373 more cases were confirmed by the Health ministry.
Three more patients succumbed to the virus, raising the number of fatalities in the country to 567.
The global figure stands at more than 24 million infections and more than 820,000 deaths.
Kenya’s positivity rate has dropped from an initial 13 per cent at the beginning of the pandemic to eight per cent. The Health ministry aims to hit five per cent as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Several countries have witnessed second and third waves of the pandemic after lifting their containment measures, forcing them to reinforce them due to a surge in infections.
In Kenya, the fear is that the counties are at different phases of the pandemic, with some such as West Pokot having recorded fewer cases while others like Nairobi having established community transmission, hence making contact tracing a challenge.
“We will get another peak if we change things. If we stop doing the things we are doing we are certainly going to get another peak and we don’t know how high that peak will be,” Health CAS Rashid Aman warned.
“We have seen countries where they have had multiple peaks so we are likely to see that, and that’s why the message that we should continue doing what we are doing is the best one for us to ensure that when we flatten we start moving downwards.”
The WHO during a virtual regional committee meeting on Tuesday in which Kenya participated noted that Africa was making good progress in fighting the pandemic, adding that a look at the curve indicated quite a number of African countries have already hit their peak.
It is the outcome of the meeting that informed an expert advisory to the President for his address to the nation on Wednesday.
“Kenya is no exception. We are within that peak but this is not the time to loosen measures we have put in place. We are making progress but we need to maintain these measures so that we can see ourselves hitting the magical five per cent positivity rate,” director general of Health Patrick Amoth said.
Amoth added, “My plea to Kenyans is that this has been a long walk but we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hold hands together and eventually we shall prevail.”
The new cases reported on Thursday were from 4,663 samples tested in a day. The total number of tests conducted since the first case is 438,193.
On a positive note, 72 more people recovered from the virus, 36 from home-based care while 36 were discharged from hospital.
This brings the total number of patients who have successfully undergone treatment and recovered to 19,368.
The new cases are aged between one month and 80 years, comprising of 273 men and 100 women.