A Kenyan nurse prepares a Covid-19 jab.[Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Health officials in Kisumu have confirmed eight cases of the Covid-19 Indian variant.

County Health Executive Boaz Nyunya said three weeks ago, workers at Kibos Sugar Factory were tested with 100 turning positive while eight were confirmed to have the Indian variant of Covid-19.

Boaz said contact tracing was conducted and those affected are in isolation and were recovering. However, he said, one of those tested has since died of the disease.

"We can't confirm if the death recorded was a result of the Indian variant," Nyunya said.

He explained that those exposed to the patients are in quarantine as medics observe their progress.

Gene sequencing was carried out at Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) lab in Nairobi.

“Most of the eight are Indians and had travelled from India to work on a new project at Kibos Sugar Factory. "Most of them are not Kenyans," Nyunya said.

This comes as the country reported 489 new cases of Coronavirus on Wednesday pushing the total caseload to 161,393.

The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Rashid Aman, in a briefing said the new cases were from 4,426 tests conducted in the last 24 hours representing a positivity rate of 11 per cent.

Aman said of the new cases, 449 are Kenyans and 40 foreigners with the youngest being a four-month baby and the oldest 102 years old.

The CAS said although 552 patients have recovered within the same period, some 20 patients had died pushing the total number of deaths to 2,825 since the first case was reported last year.

Of the recoveries, Aman said 303 are from healthcare facilities across the country while 249 are from the Home Based Care and Isolation programme.

Aman said 11 of the new deaths were reported on diverse dates while nine are late deaths reports from health facilities audits.

“Currently, there are 1,164 patients admitted in various health facilities while 6, 603 are on the Home Based Care and Isolation care program,” Aman said.

He said 153 patients are admitted to the Intensive Care Units-ICU of whom 28 are on ventilatory support, 99 on supplemental oxygen and 26 under observation.

Aman said another 119 patients are separately on supplemental oxygen out of whom 111 are in the general wards and eight in the High Dependency Units-HDU

According to the CAS, so far 900, 459 persons have received the Covid-19 jab out of whom 524, 720 are members of the public including those aged above 58 years.

He said 159,308 are healthcare workers, 140,354 are teachers and 76, 077 are security personnel.

Covid-19;Indian variant;Kisumu;Kenya