Did Kenya miss its own Covid-19 peak?

Additional 246 people tested positive for Covid-19 even as it emerges that the country might have missed its own peak.

While the projection by the Ministry of Health officials stated that the country should currently be at the peak of Covid-19 infections, the numbers have been reducing.

Yesterday it was no different as the Health Chief Administrative Rashid Aman reported 246 cases from a sample size of 4,149.
CAS Aman admitted that the number of samples tested has been low, citing challenges in supply chain of reagents and kits.

Aman said for August, the country did not get the testing kit consignment it expected.

However, the unspecified amount of consignment will be delivered to the country soon.

The claim of less tests, however, may not explain entirely why the number of positive cases are low, considering how the World Health Organisation projects the unfolding of the pandemic in the country using the positivity rate metric.

“In many situations where testing comes back 30, 40 or 50 per cent positive out of all the tests you have done, that means you are missing a large number of cases,” explained WHO Technical Lead for Covid-19 Dr Maria Van Kerkhove.

Low numbers

Kenya’s positivity rate, against the samples tested, has been going down with corresponding low number of cases.

From the 246 cases reported yesterday, the positivity rate was 5.9 per cent, just 0.2 per cent higher compared to on Monday when 193 tests came back positive from 3,381 samples.

The highest positivity rate since April is 20.5 per cent which was recorded on August 3 when 544 people tested positive from 2,653 samples.

On July 11, the positivity rate was 19.8 per cent with 278 cases against 1,403 samples.

Even when the country recorded 892 positives on July 27, which is the highest number of Covid-19 cases in a day so far, the positivity rate then stood at 10.7 per cent.

This low positivity rate is being registered at a time when the country was expected to be at its peak which starts in late August or early September as per a model shared by the Ministry of Health.

Previously, the ministry did foresee end of April and early June as the peak of the disease with 10,000 cases then.

It was, however, until mid-July when the cases hit 10,000.

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