COVID-19 positivity rate rises to 22pc as 1130 new cases reported

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in a past press briefing. PHOTO| COURTESY
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in a past press briefing. PHOTO| COURTESY

In the last 24 hours, 1130 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kenya from a sample size of 5119, pushing the total of confirmed cases to 122,040.

While addressing the media on Monday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the test positivity rate from the cases stood at 22% and is the highest this year.

Nairobi County accounted for 730 of the new infections with the Ministry of Health sounding a warning on the rising cases and the strained health care system.

“Our facilities may be overstretched but not overrun, on Jan 22,we had 27 cases in ICU. Yesterday, we had 121 patients in ICU, more on ventilatory support. On Jan 22 we had 1553 patients, now we have 2545. We can easily get discouraged. I want to assure Kenyans that we are still striving to get adequate ICU and isolation beds,” CS Kagwe said.

The Ministry of Health has also announced 12 new deaths recorded in the last 24 hours pushing Kenya’s total coronavirus death toll to 2,023.

CS Kagwe appealed to health facilities to send reports of fatalities within 12 hours so that reports can be up-to-date.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of health has inoculated 40,000 frontline workers and projects that 50,000 will have received their jabs by Monday evening.

The health docket is also working on stepping up its capacity and plans to move from administering 3,000 vaccines in a day to 10,000 a day.

CS Kagwe has warned facilities from administering vaccines to people who are not in the priority list for phase 1, saying all facilities will have to account for every dose that had been administered.

“Those carrying vaccinations will have to account for the doses that they have used,” CS Kagwe said.

He added:

“We have to be fair and transparent, We must follow the priority list, should we receive information to the contrary ,we will take legal action and even take away licences. This is contrary to the law,”

At the same time, he defended the Ministry’s move to inoculate diplomats- a move that had attracted the ire of Kenya frontline workers- saying the administering of the vaccines was being done on reciprocal basis as Kenyan diplomats were receiving the vaccines in other countries.

“If we are using government vaccines, we are prepared to vaccinate people in a reciprocal basis even with diplomats, because they also vaccinate our people,” CS Kagwe said on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has asked those who have been inoculated to continue observing protocols and guidelines as they are still not safe from the third wave.

According to Dr Willis Akhwale- a senior advisor to President Kenyatta on Malaria- vaccines do not offer immediate protection and may take up to three months before they provide full protection.

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