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106 test positive for Covid-19 in Kenya today

Health & Science - By Jael Mboga | January 4th 2021 at 04:23:44 GMT +0300
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

Some 106 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Kenya in the last 24 hours from a sample size of 3,315.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases now stands at 96,908.

From the new cases, 97 are Kenyans while nine are foreigners. The youngest is a nine-year-old child while the oldest is 70.

In a statement to newsrooms on Monday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said Nairobi continued to lead with 87 cases, followed by Uasin Gishu (5), Kiambu (3), Busia (2) and Kajiado (2), among others.

Some 184 patients recovered in Kenya today, pushing the recoveries tally to 79,257. Those from the home-based care programme were 131 while 53 were from various hospitals.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

Unfortunately, one patient succumbed to the disease, pushing the cumulative fatalities to 1,686.

There are currently 617 patients admitted in various facilities countrywide with 2,964 in the home-based isolation care programme. Twenty eight are in ICU and another 19 on supplementary oxygen.

Vials of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine before being packaged in a lab at the Serum Institute of India. The institute will make a billion doses for poor countries. [Reuters]

Meanwhile, the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in India marked the start of the manufacture of the jab for Kenya and other developing countries.

In a deal with Astra Zeneca, the Serum Institute of India (SII) will manufacture one billion doses for sale to poor countries at no profit.

Another 300 million doses of the vaccine, called Covidshield in India, will be made available to the Covax facility, which is assisting poor countries to access Covid-19 jabs.

Kenya has applied for 24 million free doses and an additional for-pay 12 million doses through the Covax facility.

Initial reports from Covax indicate Kenya will get doses to cover 1.4 million individuals by June and the rest of the 24 million doses in the second half of this year. The 12 million for-pay doses will be delivered as they become available in 2022.

The UK, which approved the AstraZeneca vaccine last week, has committed about Sh82 billion (£548 million) to the Covax facility.

“This will go towards helping developing countries access vaccines, including the Oxford/AstraZeneca candidate,” the British High Commission in Nairobi told The Standard in an email.

These doses will mainly come from SII, which is the world’s biggest vaccines manufacturer by volume, producing about 1.5 billion doses of various inoculants annually.

“We are ready to roll-out in the coming weeks,” tweeted SII’s chief executive Adar Poonawalla after the approval on Sunday morning.

But Poonawalla said SII will prioritise India first before distributing to other countries. “It's very important we take care of our country first, then go on to Covax and then other bilateral deals.”

He also said for export, the vaccine must have been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and licensed in importing countries.

AstraZeneca vaccine is yet to receive these approvals with Pfizer the only Covid-19 candidate approved by WHO.

Sensing delays, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe says Kenya is also negotiating with Pfizer of the US and Sinopharm of China. “We are looking at all the vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organisation,” Kagwe said, which then would imply the Pfizer vaccine.

Earlier, Dr Collins Tabu, head of immunisation at the Ministry of Health indicated that while they preferred the AstraZeneca vaccine, Kenya has limited capacity to store vaccines such as Pfizer’s, which require refrigeration.

WHO has cautioned poor countries that it might be hard to monitor the side effects from Pfizer’s and Moderna vaccines that are using new technologies.

Market data shows Sinopharm as the best bet for Kenya with less demand than supply compared to Astra Zeneca, Novavax, Jansen & Jansen, Pfizar, Sanofi/GSK, Moderna and Sputnik-V; all which report higher demand than supply.

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