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48 new Covid-19 cases reported

Reproductive Health - By Hillary Orinde

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi at a past press conference. [File, Standard]

Some 48 people in a group of about 1,081 tested positive for coronavirus, the Health Ministry said on Monday, barely a day after the World Health Organisation reported a record one-day rise in new infections.

The new cases -- coming in the backdrop of reduced testing -- push the country’s case load to 36,205. Kenya last reported double-digit infections on September 7 with 83 cases.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi said all the new cases were of Kenyans with 31 being male.

"The youngest is a 12-year-old child while the oldest is 75," she said from Afya House, Nairobi.

Mombasa County, which is back in the spotlight for rapid infections, accounted for 20 of the cases.

"Whereas it might seem like a surge, we cannot conclusively state so without proper facts," said Dr Mwangangi.

The CAS said her ministry had set up teams to "closely monitor the situation" to determine what was happening in the coastal county.

"Nairobi had 15 cases while Tharaka Nithi has four. Kiambu, Kilifi and Meru each had two cases. Machakos, Wajir and Homa Bay each had a case," she said.

This is as 176 patients recovered from the disease to push the recovery tally to 23,242. Forty-five of these patients were under the home-based care programme while 131 were discharged from various hospitals.

"Our recovery rate is at 64 per cent compared to the global rate at 72 per cent," noted Acting Health Director-General Dr Patrick Amoth who was also present at the briefing.

He explained that Kenya scored below the global recovery rate due to lags in reporting.

"We are at the forefront of implementing home-based isolation and care and we must get data from the lowest level. Sometimes reporting lags behind," said Dr Amoth, adding that if all recoveries were accounted for, Kenya would match the global rate.

The Ministry of Health also said there were two deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours. The death toll now stands at 624.

Flattening curve?

Kenya’s Monday record low infection is a sharp contract of the figures reported yesterday by the World Health Organisation.

Covid-19 cases around the world grew by 307,930 over 24 hours. This represented a record one-day-rise since the virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, late 2019.

The biggest increases in infections were reported in India, the US and Brazil, WHO said.

India reported 94,372 new cases on Sunday, followed by the US with 45,523 and Brazil with 43,718.

Countries across Europe are also recording a rising number of daily cases.

There are now more than 28 million confirmed cases around the world.

According to the WHO, deaths also rose yesterday by more than 5,500, bringing the global total to 917,417.

Kenyan health officials have repeatedly cautioned against dropping the guard on the virus counter-containment measures under the guise that the infection curve was flattening.

WHO says a positivity rate of at most five per cent for 14 days is required for declaration of a flattening curve.

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