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473 new Covid-19 cases push national tally to over 9,000

Health & Science - By Jael Mboga | July 10th 2020 at 11:39:19 GMT +0300

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

Kenya has registered 473 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours after 6,979 samples were tested. The total cases now stand at 9,448.

Speaking from Kilifi county, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said 324 were men and 149 were female.

Men are being affected by the virus a lot more than women.

The CS said the priority is to upscale the counties' ability to handle cases and have laboratories to boost testing.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

He added that easing restrictions and opening of the country did not mean we have now contained the spread of the virus.

"We opened up because we believe if citizens follow rules as explained by the Health ministry then we are ready to tackle it together."

Easing of the restrictions was necessary to open up the economy, Kagwe said.

There were 2,733 recoveries but Kenya lost eight more patients, bringing the fatalities tally to 181.

Nairobi still leads in the number of confirmed cases at a total of 5,188, followed by 1,720 in Mombasa.

Counties have invested in fully equipped Covid-19 facilities, the CS noted, with Kilifi having 318 beds, meeting and surpassing the 300-capacity requirement.

Vulnerability of healthcare workers

The coronavirus pandemic in Kenya today has claimed the life of a doctor who succumbed to the virus within 48 hours of being admitted at a private hospital in Nairobi.

The 39-year-old doctor Dr Adisa Lugaliki was a mother of 13-year-old twins, who is suspected to have had an underlying medical condition that exposed her to suffering the severe effects of the coronavirus that ultimately cost her life.

Her last words to her colleagues was a message of disbelief that she was getting intubated to allow mechanical ventilation that would enable her breathe better on oxygen.

Kagwe expressed his condolence to the family of Dr Lugaliki, and ordered a minute of silence during his media briefing in honour of the fallen doctor.

He was with Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi who added that the county was among the first to report a confirmed Covid-19 case.

So far there have been 74 total cases in the county. Sixty one were treated and released, but the rest are in isolation centres. The governor reiterated the ministry's calls for residents to play their role in keeping the virus at bay.

"Even if we had 2,000 beds and more than 20 isolation centres in the county but the residents are not compliant, then the measures will be a waste of time," Kingi said.

Kilifi has seven isolation centres.

The government has warned of a new surge in Covid-19 infections across the country following the lifting of inter-county movement restrictions and impending resumption of domestic and international flights.

CS Kagwe said the responsibility to stem an inevitable surge rests with Kenyans themselves, urging citizens to wear masks, maintain social distance and observe other approved safety protocols. He also said county governments must have the capacity to test and treat new patients.

The CS announced that Sh3.4 billion in allowances for health workers was ready for dispatch, and commended them for saving lives. He told Kenyans to protect themselves and their loved ones against Covid-19 now that the lockdown in Mombasa and Nairobi had been lifted.

“Only you can stop the spread of this virus. The responsibility has shifted to us individually. You should protect yourselves by keeping distance even when chewing miraa. Avoid over loaded matatus and gatherings,” he warned.

He noted the night curfew was still on and that bar operators should continue to keep their establishments closed.

There is an emerging but not yet definitive evidence from a group of experts that coronavirus can be airborne.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is in the process of reviewing evidence by experts that seem to indicate that the virus that causes Covid-19 is airborne in certain settings.

Although the health body says the evidence is not definitive, they indicated that there is a possibility of airborne transmission of the virus in specific conditions that are crowded, closed or poorly-ventilated.

WHO acknowledged they have been in discussions with the various signatories of the research pieces since April 1 to get their contributions towards the growing body of knowledge on the pandemic.

From their engagement with many of the signatories who are engineers, WHO consider this a wonderful area of expertise, which adds to the growing knowledge about the importance of ventilation.

“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of Covid-19 as well as droplets, fomites, faecal-oral, mother-to-child transmission and animal to human transmission as well,” said WHO technical lead for Covid-19 Dr Maria van Kerhkove.

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