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120 new cases as world records 10m Covid-19 infections

Monday June 29 2020
Aman

Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman updates the country on Covid-19 at Afya House, Nairobi on April 30, 2020. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BERNADINE MUTANU

The world has lost more than half a million people to Covid-19 from when the coronavirus was first reported six months ago.

Globally, at least 10 million people have contracted the virus, according to research by Johns Hopkins University.

With the relentless spread of the virus, more people are expected to lose their lives or get infected by it.

In Kenya, the number of the dead has increased from one person three months ago, to the current 143. In the same period, the number of positive cases has risen from one on March 12 to the current over 6,000 cases.

125,000 DEATHS

From May 27, the Health ministry has reported at least a death from Covid-19 every day, the highest being on June 18, when 10 deaths were reported.

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Out of the 6,070 cases reported by Sunday, there were 4,099 active cases in Kenya and 278,815 cases in Africa plus 5,785 deaths.

Compared to other continents, Africa has not been hit much, with the US alone having recorded 2.5 million cases and 125,000 deaths, the greatest toll in the world.

At least one million new cases have been reported worldwide in the last six days and in Africa, the peak is not expected until the end of July, according to projections.

In the country, there has been a steady rise of the infections since March, said Dr Mercy Mwangangi, the Health Chief Administrative Secretary.

INCREASED TESTING

While attributing the increased positive cases to increased testing capacity she said: “It points to a worrisome reality that the virus is fast spreading within our communities. Unless we step up compliance [with] the containment measures, this poses a threat of overrunning our healthcare facilities.”

The level of testing has increased from 3,419 samples in March to over 85,000 in June alone. In May, 57,527 samples were tested while in April, 19,108 samples were tested.

The trend shows that the more the samples, the more the cases, and with increased cases, deaths are also expected to rise.

According to Dr Bernard Muia, a public health expert, we may never know the whole burden of the disease unless there is enough testing.

“We also have seen disturbing cases of delayed results, which compounds the situation. We need to test as many suspected cases as we can,” he said.

RAMP UP THEIR CAPACITY

Dr Mwangangi advised counties to move with speed and ensure that they are prepared to handle an increased number of positive cases. “The counties must ramp up their capacity to test, trace and treat,” she said.

The ministry also released 550 asymptomatic patients to be managed at home under the home-based isolation and care protocols.

According to Dr Mwangangi, the home-based care program is important especially because many patients do not show any signs and can easily be managed at home.

Nairobi and Mombasa have established community transmission while other counties like Busia, Kajiado and Kiambu have huge clusters of the disease especially because of truck drivers.

Currently, 41 out of 47 counties have reported cases of Covid-19, Lamu being the latest.

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