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667 test positive for coronavirus as pandemic hurts gains against HIV

By Jael Mboga | July 24th 2020 at 12:28:09 GMT +0300

The Health ministry has today announced 667 new coronavirus cases.

Speaking during the daily Covid-19 spread updates, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi (pictured) said the national infection tally now stands at 16,268.

The youngest one to test positive for coronavirus was a month-old infant and the oldest was 92.

Nairobi still led with 387, with Dagoretti North and Kibera listed as hotspots.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

Most of the deaths are being reported on patients who had underlying health issues such as diabetes, HIV/Aids and blood pressure.

On a positive note, some 311 patients recovered, pushing the tally to 7,446.

Eleven patients died, pushing the country's fatality cases to 274. One of the children who died had rickets, a case Dr Mwangangi said is linked to children's lack of Vitamin D.

Many parents are locking their children at home during the lockdown, which hampers their access to the sunlight, a natural source for Vitamin D.

Dr Mwangangi admitted that there is a decrease in the number of new HIV infections, but added that the disease is still directly linked to corona deaths.

Some 1.1 million Kenyans are on the ARV treatment list, but Covid-19 has hurt HIV testing services due to the low outpatient visits.

The majority of the patients are not visiting hospitals for testing or refills, posing a decline in the HIV figures.

In March and April, testing volumes fell by up to 33 per cent, Dr Mwangangi noted. Community testing, on the other hand, has shrunk by 71 per cent.

While HIV pregnant mothers continue to attend child welfare clinics, the Health Ministry noted that the pandemic may hurt gains made in the fight against HIV/Aids.

This comes as CS Mutahi Kagwe warned that one shall no longer be allowed to take any alcoholic drink in restaurants, entertainment joints or any public places once the proposed rules are enacted.

The set of rules aims to govern the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health CS Kagwe proposed the rules under the Public Health Act, Cap 242.

In the draft notice, Kagwe said, anyone who disregards the rules commits an offence and is liable for punishment.

“Alcoholic drinks shall not be sold to sit-in customers at restaurants, eateries, bars, food courts, supermarkets, wines & spirits shops or in any business establishment,” the notice reads.

He noted that the operating hours of any business establishment that sells alcohol shall be between 9am and 7.30pm.

Meanwhile, clinics for chronic conditions were the hardest hit during the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic as the government insisted rise in cases among healthcare workers will not affect services.

The assurance follows a World Health Organisation (WHO) concern that more than 10,000 healthcare workers in Africa have been infected, raising fears it will disrupt services in hospitals.

The number of healthcare workers who have contracted Covid-19 stands at 526, while two nurses and one doctor have succumbed. The latest facility to be affected is the National Spinal Injury Hospital, where 19 healthcare workers got infected.

Director of Public Health Francis Kuria in the past said with the increase in the coronavirus cases, the number of infected healthcare workers is also bound to go up.

Kuria said while there have been claims the infections resulted from handling patients and challenges with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), it should be known that infections among this cohort can be as a result of interacting with the community.

But the United Nations has partnered with the Nairobi Hospital to build a 150-bed facility for its staff who may be infected with the Covid-19.

The Sh1 billion treatment facility will be constructed at the Old Nursing School in Nairobi Hospital and is expected to be complete in eight weeks.


Coronavirus Covid-19 CAS Mercy Mwangangi
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