Kenya has recorded 143 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours from a sample size of 3854, increasing the total number of cases to 35,603, the Ministry of Health has said. This raises the number of tests done to a total of 485,836.
According to Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman (pictured above), 490 people successfully recovered from the disease. 248 come from home-based care while 242 from different health facilities increasing the total number of recoveries to 22,047.
Unfortunately, five people have lost their lives to Covid-19 raising the total number of deaths to 612.
129 of those infected are Kenyans while 14 are foreigners. 85 of the new cases are males while 58 females with the youngest being a nine-month-old infant and the oldest an 83-year-old.
Nairobi has registered 35 new cases, the highest in all counties followed by Kitui with 23, Mombasa 9 Garissa 9, Kiambu 9, Nakuru 9, Kilifi 8, Turkana 7, Machakos 5, Kajiado 5 Kisii 4, Kisumu 4, Embu 3, Uasin Gishu 2, Nyeri 2, Makueni 2, Trans Nzoia 2 while Migori, Busia, Isiolo, Taita Taveta and Meru have registered one case each.
While giving the Covid-19 brief during the World Suicide Prevention Day, Dr Rashid Aman recognized the increased cases of depression and the need for efforts to address the mental wellbeing of the Kenyan population.
“I’m made to understand that here at the ministry and at Mathare, we are considering setting up a Tele-counselling and telepsychiatry centres here which will also have a call centre that will have suicide prevention numbers that Kenyans can call into to receive counselling and guidance and direction and instructions on where to seek appropriate care for the condition,” said Dr Aman
According to Dr Aman, the suicide prevention hotline will be a toll-free line operating 24/7 and will continue serving Kenyans post the Covid-19. It will not only address mental health challenges but also enable follow up of persons diagnosed with mental health problems and substance use disorders.
The call centres will be run by health personnel as the ministry waits for the deployment of 40 psychologists who are in the process of being recruited by the Public Service Commission.
“Trained mental health personnel including nurses and doctors have been identified who will be on call and will work in shifts in these Tele counselling and telepsychiatry centres,” said Dr Aman.
The new mental health strategy is expected to offer psychosocial support including psychological first aid to persons in quarantine, front line health workers, persons with Covid-19 and their families, families of the bereaved and the general public.
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