State to deploy 12,000 kits for mass testing

Nairobi, Mombasa, Siaya and Mandera are the four counties identified by the Ministry of Health for the upcoming mass testing, as the country recorded eight new Covid-19 infections.

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The four counties have been singled out because of their risk factors, with the ministry further narrowing down on specific areas and institutions located in the regions.

In Nairobi, the exercise will be conducted in the Kibera slums and all the quarantine and isolation centres.

In Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) staff will undergo testing.

“We will be sending 1,000 test kits to KPA based on the risk of transmission identified by our monitoring teams,” said Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi.

Seven people at KPA have been confirmed to have the coronavirus disease.

Test kits will also be sent to Siaya and Mandera counties, with the latter recording six cases, among them a person who had travelled from Mombasa County.

“In total, the first phase of mass testing will see approximately 12,000 testing kits deployed to target areas in the next few days,” said Dr Mwangangi.

Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi is one of the institutions that has kicked off mass testing.

The government expects Covid-19 cases to go up once the exercise rolls out.

As of yesterday, the number of cases stood at 216 after eight more people tested positive for the disease.

The eight were part of a sample of 694 who were tested between Monday and Tuesday. Nairobi recorded six cases, while Nakuru and Siaya each had one.

Travel history

Of the eight, five are Kenyans while the rest are foreigners from Britain, Pakistan and Uganda. Six of the eight people had a history of travel, having been to Dubai, the UK, Pakistan, Zambia and the Comoros. Six cases of infection are from those under mandatory quarantine, while two are from contact tracing.

The majority of the 216 cases in the country are individuals aged between 30 and 59. Of these, one more person has tested negative for the virus and been discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 41.

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