COVID-19: CS Kagwe points at flattened curve as Kenya records 130 new cases

COVID-19: CS Kagwe points at flattened curve as Kenya records 130 new cases
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a past press briefing. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Ministry of Health has indicated that the country is on the right track in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that all signs point out that the infection curve has been flattened.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said over the last month, the country has recorded a positivity rate of below 5% which according to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines points at a flattening curve.

He, however, cautioned that any laxity in adhering to the stimulated COVID-19 containment measures could revert the gains made in combating the disease which has claimed over 600 lives in Kenya.

“In the course of this month except for a couple of days we have been on a positivity rate of below 5%. The WHO proposes that when you can run a below 5% positivity rate for over 14 days then as a nation you have began to flatten the curve,” said CS Kagwe.

“However, let me caution that even as we do so, events elsewhere across the globe indicate a new wave of COVID-19 cases. If you look at what is happening in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and other countries in Europe then we have no choice but to be cautious for that second wave that is always a possibility.”

Health Ministry Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth echoed CS Kagwe’s remarks on the flattening curve saying in addition to the positivity rate of below 5% a high number of patients had been discharged from hospitals in the last two months.

Dr. Amoth said as at Wednesday there were only 484 COVID-19 admitted in hospitals across the country with 14 of them being in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

He added that surveillance by the Ministry showed that there are few cases being recorded at the community level

“Over the last 21 days, our average has been less than 5% apart from one or two days ago. We also look at the number of patients who are admitted for institutional care. As of today we have just 484 patients with COVID-19 in all health facilities from 1,200 more than two months ago. As at today we only have 14 people in ICU under critical care; four of them with ventilatory support the remaining 10 on supplementary oxygen,” he said.

“We are not noticing excess mortality at the community level. Critical surveillance on facility level has not generated any evidence to indicate the cases we are seeing are from the community. We are past our inflection point but we should not throw caution to the wind because we can easily reverse in terms of the progress we have made.”

This comes as the country on Wednesday recorded 130 new COVID-19 cases out of
3,874 samples tested in the last 24 hours which also marked a positivity rate of below 5%. This brings the country’s total caseload to 38,348.

The distribution of the 130 new COVID-19 cases by county is as follows: Nairobi 35, Kiambu 23, Kisumu 19, Mombasa 14, Uasin Gishu 8, Kericho 6, Kisii 5, Busia 5, Kilifi 5, Bomet 2, Narok 2, Meru 1, Siaya 1, Trans Nzoia 1, Turkana 1, Kajiado 1 and Machakos 1.

At the same time five more patients succumbed to the disease raising the total fatalities to 664 while the number of recoveries rose to 24,253 after 106 patients recovered from the disease. Out of the 106 recoveries, 81 were discharged from hospitals while and 25 were under the homebased care.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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