Kenya's COVID-19 Cases Rise to 225 As 9 Kenyans Test Positive

(file photo).

The number of Covid-19 cases in Kenya rose to 225 on Wednesday with the reporting of nine more positive cases of the disease.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 803 samples had been tested since Tuesday, when the ministry reported a total of 216 confirmed cases since the coronavirus was first reported in Kenya.

CS Kagwe said all the new patients were Kenyans and that five cases were reported in Nairobi and four in Mombasa.

CS Kagwe further said a total of 2,366 people had been tested and 1,911 released, leaving 455 under follow-up.

He said 12 more people had been discharged from hospital raising the number of recoveries to 53.

He also reported one more death, raising the number to 10.

UNITED FRONT

While noting that Kenya was not out of danger, CS Kagwe reiterated the need for the public to remain cautious and follow all of the government's directives for containing the spread of the virus.

He said the game changers in the fight against the virus remained mass testing, isolating and treating.

CS Kagwe said Kenya's death rate of four per cent was within the global range of 6.3 per cent and that 144 of its cases were imported but warned that these figures should not be viewed as an indicator of a time to relax.

"A comparative of the counties being overrun by the virus shows they were reporting similar figures as we are now," he said.

He added, "The battle will be won not by the government but by Kenyans working together."

Among the key steps the government has taken are a nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am and the prohibition of movement into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties, where majority of the cases were earlier reported.

The government also requires everybody to wear a mask while public, the risk being an arrest and charges. Those taken into custody could face a fine of up to Sh20,000 or a prison term.

MASS TESTING

The Health ministry earlier said mass testing would be a priority and would see about 12,000 testing kits distributed across the country.

It said priority areas would include quarantine centres, hotels, isolation facilities, hospitals and high population density areas such as Kibra in Nairobi, as well as parts of Mandera and Siaya counties.

In this regard, Mr Kagwe announced on Wednesday that a high-level team led by Dr Patrick Amoth, the acting Director-General in the Health ministry, had been sent to Siaya.

He said the team was examining the status of quarantine and isolation facilities in the county and engaging the people in moving in one direction against the virus.

CS Kagwe further said that personal protective equipment and other supplies had been sent to the county.

According to CS Kagwe's report on Wednesday, Nairobi accounted for the highest number of cases at 163 and was followed by Mombasa with 36, Kilifi with nine and Mandera with six.

Then came Kajiado, Kitui, Nakuru and Siaya with two each, and Kakamega, Uasin Gishu and Kwale with one each.

TESTING TOOLS

CS Kagwe said the ministry had been working round the clock to double the country's sample collection and testing capacity but lacked enough reagents due to their unavailability globally.

He announced, however, that Kenya had received 18,900 swabs and viral transport medium, 18,912 extraction kits, 3,790 disposable protective clothing for medical workers, thermometer guns, medical gloves and ventilation machines from Chinese businessman Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group.

The minister said Kenya had also received consignments of gloves, face shields, gowns and surgical masks from China, France and Germany through the World Health Organization (WHO).

He said these would be distributed before the end of the week amid the training of personnel to carry out tests.

STATISTICS

The coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.

Since then, it has quickly spread across the world and infected at least 2,014,009 people, according to Worldometer's tally on April 15.

The total number of deaths was 127,594 and that of recoveries 491,824 as of April 15, while the number of active cases stood at 1,394,591 with 96 per cent of the conditions being mild and the rest critical.

Worldometer's count showed that the number of closed cases, either due to death or recovery, was 619,418.

In Africa, the number of infections was 17,008 and the deaths 877.

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