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More than 45,000 people could die by October if measures put in place to contain spread of coronavirus are relaxed even by 60 per cent.

This is according to a modeling tool used by experts from the Ministry of Health to project the spread of infection and possible fatalities countrywide.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, while delivering his address to the nation yesterday, painted grim scenarios that could be replayed in case the economy is reopened.

“Although these projections are generated by a model, there is hard evidence suggesting that countries which opened up without proper protocols also experienced serious waves of infections. Spikes of infections were for instance experienced after re-opening religious gatherings in South Korea, Pakistan and Malaysia,” said the president. 

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The scientists used different models to build scenarios through monitoring trends of how the disease is spreading, and projecting how it will manifest under different conditions.

From the trends, said the president, if the rules the government established to control the disease are relaxed, the higher the chances of people getting infected, the higher the fatalities.

Uhuru said it is through the current measures put in place that the government has managed to contain the spread of the virus and kept the numbers low even as other countries in the developed world grapple with massive infections and deaths.

“If we had not taken stringent measures as we did in March 2020, the rate of infections would have peaked to 800,000 people by July 30. If one infected person has potential to infect two people, this number would have hit 2.4 million people in 21 days,” said Kenyatta.

Most countries have been using scientific models to come up with interventions for controlling the disease. They are used to help policy makers understand the most likely outcomes as well as best and worst case scenarios.

SEE ALSO: With restrictions lifted, Kenyans must step up personal measures

In countries like USA, scientific models have even been used to monitor specific populations such as the low-income families and people of different races.

The models look into the different properties of the virus such as how infectious it is and how long it takes before someone dies from the virus.

They also monitor other factors like the amount of contact the people infected have with those who are free from the virus.

It is through scientific modeling that Wuhan, China’s town where the first case was reported was able to come up with interventions like having a complete lockdown and building hospitals.


coronavirus President Uhuru Kenyatta
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