Kenya: COVID-19 - Record 12 Deaths Reported in a Day As Kenya Cases Hit 10,294

Twelve people have died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the highest number ever in Kenya in that period, raising the death toll to 197.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe reported this on Monday during the daily briefing on the pandemic, at which he warned that a state of denial about the existence of the virus will have devastating consequences.

All the deaths were recorded in Nairobi - nine in hospital and three in communities.

The ministry announced 189 new cases of the virus, raising the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 10,294. The new patients were found following the testing of 1,205 samples, which brought the total number of samples tested in the country to 216,242.

A hundred and six of the new patients were male and 83 female whereas the youngest was aged five and the oldest 71.

Nairobi County once again had the highest number of new patients - 147. Dagoretti North accounted for 77, Embakasi East and Makadara 10 each, Embakasi South and Kibra nine each, Embakasi West six, Langata four, Kamukunji and Kasarani two each, and Dagoretti South, Embakasi Central and Embakasi North one each.

CS Kagwe also reported that 65 more patients had been discharged from hospital, raising the country's total number of recoveries to 2,946.

Of the 189 new cases, Kiambu recorded 20, Machakos 11, Kajiado five, Mombasa two, and Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Laikipia and Kericho one each.

MASS TESTING

The minister also spoke about mass testing, saying 22 health workers at Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi were found to have the virus following the exercise there.

Asked whether the hospital would be closed, he noted the need for thorough checks to establish its status before any action is taken.

Regarding the testing of members of the public, the ministry noted that there are no charges for mass testing.

"There are private labs as well as government hospitals that are testing. In government hospitals we are charging Sh1,000," he said.

He added, "We are still testing at Mbagathi hospital but only for those already confirmed to be sick."

DENIAL

The number of cases of the disease in Kenya has continued to rise by hundreds every day, raising concerns about the consequences of the government's decision to end a cessation of movement order that affected hotspot counties including Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera.

CS Kagwe defended the move as announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta two weeks ago but asked the people to take individual responsibility.

"You cannot whip people or put them in prison to make them understand there's a disease. There is Covid-19 ... even little children are singing about it ... that they can get it," he said.

"One of these days that denial will disappear very fast. Some countries were in denial until big people there died of Covid-19. We do not want a situation where we cease to be in denial after we die."

CONTACT TRACING

While noting that the major challenges in finding the contacts of Covid-19 patients are logistical, the CS said 13 counties will get vehicles, purchased at about Sh102 million, for transport.

The 13 are Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos, Nyeri, Migori, Busia, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Taita Taveta, Elgeyo Marakwet and Kisii.

"One of the crucial aspects in the management of Covid-19 is contact tracing. Initially, we were using telephone calls and now we have web tracing. We have 229 teams in all the counties. We are conducting training on the usage of the web-based tools," he said.

So far, there are 229 contract tracing teams across the country, with the national team training them on use of a web-based tool as well as data management.

On the supply of personal protective equipment, the ministry said there is a surplus.

"We have not received any information about a hospital in Nairobi without PPEs," he said.

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