Kenya on Friday reported 127 new Covid-19 cases and four more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 1,745 and the death toll to 62.
Dr Mercy Mwangangi, Health Chief Administrative Secretary, said in a briefing that 17 coronavirus patients left hospitals in the past 24 hours, taking the number of recoveries in the country to 438.
The new cases are from Nairobi (76), Mombasa (19), Busia (16), Uasin Gishu (8), Kiambu (2), Kajiado (5) and Isiolo (1).
In Nairobi, the cases are spread in the following sub-counties: Kibra (49), Ruaraka (13), Makadara (4), Westlands (4), Langata (2), Embakasi West (1), Kasarani (1), Dagoretti North (1) and Starehe (1).
Speaking during the briefing, Dr Patrick Amoth, the acting health Director-General, said a total of 140 people who tested positive for Covid-19 provided wrong contact details and cannot be traced by the Ministry of Health.
Dr Amoth said the group was risky as it was spreading the infection at the community level.
This means that they could be a constant source of new infections.
“Eventually, I am very certain that we will catch up with them. It is very unfortunate that one is risking the lives of their loved ones and those of other Kenyans. We will trace them, it is just a matter of time,” Dr Amoth said.
He pleaded with Kenyans to take self-responsibility and always provide correct contacts.
The only way to get hold of them is tracing them using the mobile numbers they provided. Looking for them physically would not be easy.
According to Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman, many are reluctant to speak up or share details of their contacts because of distrust, misinformation and stigma.
He told the Nation that dishonesty among those who have tested positive threatens to complicate the task of tracing suspected cases, further endangering lives.
“Tracing will only be successful if people trust public health officials, tell the truth and respond by changing their behaviour,” he said.
He added: “We are not doing tracing to stigmatise people or shame them. We just want to find them as fast as possible to halt the pathogen’s spread.”
According to data from the Ministry of Health seen by the Saturday Nation, the Covid-19 update revealed that 400 persons were pending in the contact listing.
In the pending list of contacts, Nairobi is leading with 182 people who are yet to be traced so far, followed by Mombasa at 146, Kajiado is missing 12 truck drivers, Kwale 11 persons, Siaya seven people and Busia six people.
Kilifi, Nakuru and Garissa are missing three people each, Wajir two people with Kiambu, Machakos, Laikipia and Taita-Taveta missing one case each.