The Health ministry on Wednesday said the number of Covid-19 cases is likely to go into the thousands and overwhelm hospitals.
Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said the government still stood by earlier projections that the country could have 5,000 cases by mid-April and 10,000 by end of April.
“Today, we have 179 cases … but as we deploy mass testing we will see the cases go up. Our projection still stands and in two to three weeks, we will be able to confirm this with the rapid testing that we are deploying,” she said.
Dr Mwangangi added that the increased numbers will cause a strain on health facilities, hence the need for home-based care protocols for patients with mild symptoms.
She said information on this will be communicated within 24 hours.
“The task force will, over the next 24 hours, validate the protocols with the World Health Organization and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and review them as we find sociologists to work with,” she said.
“As you know, home-based care will include interventions that will need social scientists to carry out assessments to find out whether the home environment is actually viable for patient recovery.”
In its update for the day, the Health ministry announced seven more confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Kenya, raising the country’s official number to 179.
Five of the new cases were found through surveillance while two had been quarantined, Dr Mwangangi said, adding that five of the cases were recorded in Nairobi and one each in Mombasa and Uasin Gishu counties.
Four of the new patients, who were among the 305 people tested in the last 24 hours, had a history of travel.
The ministry further said that 178 of the confirmed cases had been mild or moderate.
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