Kenya Among African Nations at Risk of Most Covid-19 Deaths

Pandemic restrictions have emptied Nairobi streets of the usual traffic (file photo).
11 August 2020

Kenya is among five African countries projected to record the largest number of Covid-19 deaths on the continent by December, according to a study.

However, the country could avert more than 11,000 deaths if people adhere to public health and social measures put in place to control the spread of coronavirus.

According to a new analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a research institute at the University of Washington, the country could reduce its number of Covid-19 deaths from an estimated 16,510 to 5,124 by December 1 by increasing adherence to mask-wearing (95 per cent) and re-imposing social distancing mandates if daily deaths exceed eight per million.

In recent weeks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) office in Kenya has said there has been general apathy and non-compliance in the country, which has seen numbers of Covid-19 cases rise.

Reverse in behaviour

Last week, WHO Country Rep Rudi Eggers warned that there has been a reverse in people's behaviour, from wide-spread compliance before opening up locked-down locations, to not wearing masks, keeping distance, or sustaining hygiene and protective measures.

"We believe that the rising numbers of transmission are in part a reflection of this general apathy and non-compliance. The response to the pandemic by the Kenyan government has been strong, but there are various emerging issues that need urgent and intensified response measures throughout the country," said Dr Eggers.

The government has been condemned after President Kenyatta and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe were on Monday seen holding rally-like meetings in Nairobi and Kericho respectively, with appearance of crowds that were not wearing masks and social distancing.

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