The country recorded no Covid-19 deaths yesterday as 241 more people tested positive for the virus. The absence of death in 24 hours gives a glimpse of hope as it comes almost a month after the country reported the highest fatalities so far, 23, on August 1.
This could be the glimpse of hope Kenyans have been waiting for considering that in recent days, the number of cases reported daily has been reducing, as has been the positivity rate.
As a result, the number of fatalities remained 567 with confirmed cases rising to 33,630. Health Director-General Patrick Amoth noted that even the cases that require critical care have reduced.
As it stands, up to 93 per cent of the confirmed cases are asymptomatic or moderately symptomatic. Amoth said the reducing positivity rate witnessed in the country is not unique since it matches what other African nations are experiencing.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday said the continent could be past its peak referencing the reducing numbers.
Africa has had 1.2 million cases and 28,000 deaths since the pandemic was first reported in the continent in February.
Kenya’s peak was estimated to be around late August to early September. Amoth warned that even as the figures might seem to be going down, the measures in place need to be maintained.
“You can have a second wave that is deadlier and we have witnessed that in other countries like South Korea,” he said.
Amoth explained that the extension of the 4am to 9pm curfew for another 30 days by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday was informed by this trend of a possible second wave.
While the cases have been reducing in the hotspots particularly Nairobi and Mombasa, Amoth said the evolution of the disease in the country varies from place to place.
“Counties are at different levels of the pandemic; some with few cases where we can do contact tracing. So the intervention we put in place will vary from county to county and we will be updating them so that we all move in unison,” he said.
Amoth also noted that Kenya is seeking to attain a positivity rate of five per cent sustained for two weeks as stipulated by WHO to authoritatively say the disease is declining.
The positivity rate is the percentage of tests that turn positive against the total number of tests. From the 373 cases against 4,663 tests, the positivity rate for yesterday’s figures is 7.9 per cent.
Amoth said in terms of testing, the country is not at a very bad place despite the sporadic shortages of kits and reagents which lead to backlogs.