Nairobi — COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 490 on Monday, following 25 new infections in Nairobi and Mombasa, the government said.
In Nairobi, the new cases are spread out in Mathare, Embakasi, Umoja and Kawangware which remains a hotspot since last week.
“The virus is now fully in our communities and the rate of infection is not going down,” said Dr Mercy Mwangangi, a Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Health. A six-month-old baby was among the new infections.
Cases in the country have been rising fast in the last three days, with an average of 20 cases a day.
There were 30 cases confirmed on Sunday and 24 on Saturday.
The increase in cases is attributed to the mass testing initiative that kicked off last week, even though the government has decried low interest from the public in taking the test.
Of the new infections recorded Monday, Mwangangi said all are Kenyans identified from a pool of 1, 012 people who were tested since Sunday.
“13 are male and 12 are female and none of them had a history of travel,” she said.
The new cases are spread out in Eastleigh (8), Mathare (1), Kahawa West (1), Kariobangi South (1) Umoja (2) and Kawangware (2).
In Mombasa, from Old town 8 were recorded while Bombululu and Jomvu produced one each.
During the Monday briefing, Dr Mwangangi emphasized the need for Kenyans to adhere to government regulations aimed at keeping the virus at bay after it emerged that most people had resumed their normal lives.
“To stop infection each and every one of us must take precaution and must religiously practice the containment measures provided by the government with social distancing, washing of hands and staying at home key in defeating the virus,” she said.
The government has lately intensified mass testing, mainly in Nairobi’s Kawangware and Eastleigh as well as Mombasa.
“The targeted testing is meant to help identify and isolate the infected in order to help prevent further transmissions. Testing is the most effective strategy of breaking the chain of transmission,” she said.
The number of deaths in the country remain at 24 with those who have recovered at 173.
Globally, there were 3.5 million infections and more than 250,000 deaths by May 4.