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Uhuru calls meeting as infections, deaths soar

Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa | October 29th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Business as usual as grocery traders go on with their business as usual without wearing protective face masks and minimal social distancing at the Kangemi open-air market, Nairobi. October 28, 2020. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has convened a meeting to deliberate the country’s Covid-19 situation in the wake of increasing deaths and positive cases.

The meeting, which will take place on November 4, is the sixth extraordinary session of the national and county governments coordinating summit.

This session, compared to the previous during the pandemic, comes earlier than what has been the tradition. Usually, the president has been convening these meetings barely hours to the expiry of the imposed containment measures.

As per his last address, on September 28, such a meeting was expected around November 28 considering the curfew hours had been reviewed and extended by another 60 days.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

In the statement from State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena, it was noted that the high numbers are the reason for the meeting.

“The extraordinary session has been convened in light of the resurgence of Covid-19 infections across our nation, as exhibited by the fact that Kenya recorded its highest number of Covid-19 monthly fatalities in October 2020,” reads the statement.

The country has lost 239 people to the virus between October 1 and 28. However, since the reopening of the economy on September 28, the number of fatalities stands at 259. It means since the country reopened the economy, an average of eight people have been dying every day.

The number of fatalities in the country now stand at 950 after 16 more people succumbed to the virus from yesterday’s update.

The 259 deaths reported since the reopening represent 27 per cent of all the deaths.

The total number of confirmed cases passed the 50,000 mark on Tuesday. Yesterday, the country recorded 1,018 new cases – the second highest number of new cases in a day. The highest number of cases reported in a day was also reported this month, on October 22, after 1,068 people tested positive.

Since the country reopened, a total of 13,736 people have tested positive, an average of 457 new cases in a day. This is 26.4 per cent of all the confirmed cases in just a month yet the virus has been in the country for seven months now.

The 1,018 new cases are from a sample size of 6,649, which is a positivity rate of 15.3 per cent. The highest positivity rate in October (20.5 per cent) was recorded on Tuesday when 836 people tested positive from 4,076 samples.

To date 672, 771 samples have been tested; 132,463 having been tested since the reopening of the economy.

The meeting convened on Wednesday will partly postulate the epidemiological models on how the numbers will be in November and December.

In June, President Kenyatta set aside a decision to reopen the economy or relax the measures when the modelling showed a worst case scenario of 40,000 deaths and 300,000 cases by November if the measures were relaxed by 40 per cent.

If relaxed by 20 per cent, the scenario will be 200,000 infections with 30,000 deaths by December.

“The session shall also review the efficacy of the containment measures in place, as well as the impact of the easing of the restrictions that were in place,” the statement reads.

The president, in the statement, called on Kenyans to continue correct wearing of masks in public places, washing of hands and keeping social distance as the best weapon to tackle the virus.

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