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Home / Health & Science

Only 105 test positive for coronavirus, is the curve flattening?

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy JAEL MBOGA | Sat,Sep 19 2020 15:20:52 EAT
By JAEL MBOGA | Sat,Sep 19 2020 15:20:52 EAT


Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at Ainamoi Sub-County Hospital on August 10, 2020, when he toured the facility to assess the county's preparedness on the Covid-19 pandemic. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

Some 105 people have in the last 24 hours tested positive for coronavirus in Kenya.   With no coronavirus deaths being reported in the period stated, the fatality remains 646.   The 105 were from a sample size of 2,868, bringing the national tally to 36,829.   Out of those who tested positive, 83 were men and 22 are women. The oldest is aged 95 and the youngest a two-year-old child.   Thirty-three of the cases were reported in Nairobi, followed by Busia (15), Mombasa (nine), Bungoma (eight) and Kiambu (four), among others.   But a study, published on September 15, in the journal Frontiers in Public Health noted that the virus is likely to become seasonal, but not before a vaccine and superior herd immunity are achieved.   Researchers from Qatar University in Doha and the American University of Beirut suggest that Sars-Cov-2 could possibly be affected by changing seasons which is similar to other human viruses like influenza.   Hassan Zaraket, the Senior study author and assistant professor of virology at the American University of Beirut said Covid-19 is here to stay, and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until heard immunity is achieved.   “Therefore, the public will need to learn to live with it and continue practicing the best prevention measures, including wearing of masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoidance of gatherings,” he said.   The researchers foresee that as more people recover from Covid-19 and develop immunity, variables like temperature and humidity may have a larger impact on the spread of the virus.   Meanwhile, the novel coronavirus pandemic has brought “herd immunity” to the public consciousness, kindling hope the phenomenon can help slow or even end the outbreak.   Herd immunity refers to a large portion of a community developing a degree of immunity to a virus, thereby reducing person-to-person spread. As a result, the whole community gains protection, not just those who are immune.   Vaccination can provide widespread immunity faster and more reliably.   The new coronavirus is spread primarily via droplets expelled when a person coughs, sneezes or even talks.   Until a vaccine is developed, wearing masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene can help reduce transmission and contribute to creating herd immunity.   Epidemiologists largely agree that a combined approach is critical given early vaccines brought to market will likely not have 100% efficacy.   This comes as the government approved the first Covid-19 vaccine trials to be conducted in the country.   The approval posted by Pharmacy and Poisons Board allows for the Oxford University-developed vaccine to be tested in Kenya.   The trials to be carried out by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) will recruit 400 health workers in Kilifi and Mombasa counties.   The next step, though generally ceremonial, will be the final approval by the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (Nacosti).   This makes Kenya the second country in the sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa to conduct clinical trials for a Covid 19 vaccine. South Africa started trials for the same Oxford University vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, in June.

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