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Covid-19: 23 dead as positivity rate at 9.8 per cent

Health & Science

Twenty-three people succumbed to Covid-19 in Kenya in the last 24 hours, pushing the national fatality tally to 2,688.

This comes as 834 tested positive for coronavirus from a sample size of 8,498. The positivity rate now stands at 9.8 per cent.

Some 805 Kenyans and 29 foreigners were among those who tested positive, with the youngest being a 14-day-old infant and the oldest aged 100.

The 499 men and 335 women push the country’s caseload to 158,326 with 1,659,506 cumulative tests conducted so far.

Nairobi county led in the new infections by recording 246 cases, followed by Kericho (98) and Trans Nzoia (33).

A total of 107,882 have recovered in Kenya so far with 579 in the last 24 hours.

The statement from the Health ministry said 1,300 Covid patients are currently admitted in various hospitals across the country.

Kenyans will wait a little bit longer than the eight-week period to get their second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after a global shortage occasioned by a surge in Covid-19 cases in India, the main manufacturer of the jab.

Speaking at a past media briefing, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe revealed that the delivery date for the next consignment of the vaccine may go beyond May, but experts hope that the second dose will be in on time before the 12-week maximum period between the first and second dose.

The CS says that the government plans to acquire two million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose prescription while Pfizer-BioNTech is in two doses, just like Oxford/AstraZeneca.

Kagwe said Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson will be acquired through the African Union (AU) and once the negotiations are done, they will be delivered.

Timelines for their delivery were, however, not given.

“Once we have concluded our deal, we expect one million doses for Pfizer-BioNTech and maybe another one million for Johnson & Johnson once production is ramped up,” said Kagwe. “That combined with what we can get from Covax facility (in this case AstraZeneca) should be able to allow us to continue with the vaccination process.”

He said these doses are essential to back up and support what the country will be expecting from Covax.

It was expected by now that Kenya should have in the stores 2.5 million doses of the second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second phase of vaccination.

However, a new wave of the disease in India, where the vaccine is manufactured, is the reason behind the delay of the jab.

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