Covid-19 no longer an urban disease as rural tallies go up

Thursday May 28 2020

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe (centre) tours Tigoni Level Four Hospital in Kiambu County on May 28, 2020. PHOTO | SIMON CIURI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The coronavirus is no longer an urban disease as cases continue to surge.

Three counties — Nyeri, Embu, and Murang’a — on Thursday recorded their first Covid-19 cases, with data showing that the disease is increasingly making its way to remote areas.

As the country recorded the highest number of cases in one day, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the trend was worrying and needed to be stopped “by observing and practising containment measures we have been advocating for”.

As the country intensifies efforts to test as many people as possible, CS Kagwe said inadequate reagents had slowed down mass testing, but added that the government was addressing the issue.

A total of 147 new infections were recorded out of the 2,831 samples collected. There are 1,618 Covid-19 cases in Kenya, with70,172 samples tested since March, when the first case was reported.

The CS, who was at Tigoni Level Four Hospital in Kiambu County, said all the 147 infected were Kenyans, with the youngest being a one-year-old and the oldest 87. There were 87 males and 60 females.


Nairobi had the highest number of cases, with the 90 spread in Kibra (35), Lang’ata (15), Makadara (nine, Westlands (eight), Embakasi Central (six), Embakasi West (five), Kasarani (4), Kamukunji (2), Dagoretti North (2), Starehe (2), Roysambu and Mathare (one each).


Mombasa had 41 cases spread in Jomvu (10), Mvita (10), Changamwe (6), Kisauni (5), Likoni (5) and Nyali (5).

Mr Kagwe said Nyeri and Uasin Gishu recorded two cases, while Kajiado, Embu, Homa Bay, Murang’a, and Machakos recorded one case each.

Kiambu County recorded three cases in Kiambu town, Thika and Kikuyu. In total, Kiambu has 39 cases, placing it fourth after Nairobi (835), Mombasa (490) and Kajiado (65).

“Thirty-two out of the 47 counties have so far recorded cases of the disease. This number accounts for more than 60 per cent of the counties affected,” said Mr Kagwe.

Three cases were reported in Busia on the border with Uganda.

Mr Kagwe said 13 more patients had been discharged, bringing the number of total recoveries to 421. But three patients died, two of whom had underlying conditions.

He said Covid-19 can be defeated only through collaboration by all Kenyans, adding that the Health ministry is assessing the level of preparedness in counties “to determine the support needed to enhance readiness to combat the virus”.

Meanwhile, Kiambu Governor James Nyoro appealed to the CS for more testing kits to facilitate mass testing.

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