Kenya: COVID-19 Hits Men Harder

The Ministry of Health reported 72 more Covid-19 cases on Tuesday bringing the national tally to 2,093.

Dr Rashid Aman, the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, said during his daily update in Nairobi that 50 of the new cases are male and 22 female.

He added that two people died overnight, taking the total fatalities over the virus to 71.

So far, 499 have recovered after 17 more patients were discharged from hospitals, Dr Aman said.

According to the Health CAS, 82,946 lab tests for Covid-19 have been carried out in Kenya as of Tuesday.

Kenya announced its first case of the new coronavirus on March 13.

The new cases are spread in eight counties, with the capital Nairobi taking more than half (39), Busia (13), Mombasa (eight), Kajiado (four), Migori (three), Kiambu and Garissa (two each) and Kisumu (one).

In Nairobi, Kibra had the biggest number with 16 infections, followed by Embakasi South (eight), Ruaraka and Westlands (five each), Langata (two), and Embakasi West, Dagoretti North and Starehe recording one case each.

Mombasa's cases were discovered in Mvita, Kisauni and Changamwe, which recorded two cases each, and Likoni and Nyali with a case each.

In terms of age, the new patients are between 11 and 73 years old.

Meanwhile, a shortage of testing materials is once again hampering the fight against Covid-19. And the situation is getting worse.

Government officials say they will not only have to scale down testing, but samples collected will also take longer to be processed, potentially hampering efforts to identify the infected in good time to rein in infections.

The Nation has learnt that State institutions like the National Influenza Lab and the Kenyatta National Hospital have a backlog of unprocessed tests.

Dr Aman Tueswday admitted the delay in remitting results is because of the temporary shortage of the testing materials.

“We have a backlog of samples that we need to test but we will clear them with time,” Dr Aman said.

In the last two weeks, the government has been testing more than 3,000 samples a day, but the number is dropping; the samples reduced to 1,574 and 1,581 on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

“We are running low on materials and we will have to scale down on the number of tests that we are doing so that we don’t completely stop testing as we wait for the consignment that we have ordered,” he said

Despite the delay, Dr Aman assured Kenyans their samples were well kept.

“All the samples are stored in the viral transport medium, frozen to keep it viable so that we do not have to go back to the individuals for the samples again,” Dr Aman said.

Kenya now has 15 laboratories for Covid-19 testing including the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) facilities in Nairobi, Kilifi, Kericho, Busia and Kisumu.

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