SECTIONS

Stay at home if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms, says Ministry of Health

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addressing the press on the upsurge of Covid-19 in the country on June 20, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has cautioned Kenyans against the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Kenyans have in the last few weeks experienced a wave of flu/respiratory infections.

In his address, Kagwe urged Kenyans to take urgent steps to prevent the slide into a crisis similar to what was experienced in 2020 and 2021.

“Over the last few weeks the country has witnessed a steady rise in the number of new cases and a slow rise in the overall positivity rate from a weekly average of 0.6 per cent at the beginning of May 2022, to a weekly average of 10.74 per cent in the week ending June 19 2022,” said Kagwe.

On March 11, 2022, the Ministry of Health revised the containment measures following a sustained decline in the number of Covid-19 cases at the time. The wearing of masks has also not been compulsory.

Kagwe was quick to note that the cold season could catapult cases of infection.

“Luckily, this increase in cases is so far not associated with increased hospitalisations with majority being under home based care and isolation. We, however, know that this steady increase in new infections is likely to get worse in view of the drop in temperatures occasioned by the current cold season.

We expect a rise in the number of cases if respiratory diseases during this period. Three out of eight influenza surveillance sites namely Kakuma, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Nakuru are reporting an increase in the number of flu cases,” said Kagwe.

The CS has issued a new raft of measures to help reduce exposure and transmission of respiratory infections. 

These are:

  •    Stay at home especially if you have a cold/flu-like symptoms,
  •    Dress warmly to avoid triggers, 
  •    Avoid crowded places and gatherings, 
  •    Wear a mask in crowded and enclosed spaces, 
  •    Keep well hydrated, 
  •    Exercise regularly, 
  •    Maintain hands and body hygiene.

“Seek medical advice or attention at an authorised treatment facility upon development of difficulty in breathing and adhere to prescribed medication. Eat a healthy balanced diet, lots of fruits and vegetables, with adequate portions of carbohydrates and protein,” noted Kagwe.

According to the Health CS, the country has also been reviewing travel restrictions from different countries based on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Vaccination is still ongoing despite a drop of the same, and there is still a large stock of 3,495,940 doses of vaccines available in the country.

“Regrettably, the vaccination rate has dropped from over 300,000 doses per day in March 2022, to only about 12,000 vaccinations per day in May 2022,” said Kagwe.