An additional 213 people have tested positive for coronavirus, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday, lauding Kenyans for exercising “a reasonable level of civic responsibility” in observing counter infection protocols and slowing infection in Nairobi and Mombasa.
The new cases – of some 207 Kenyans and six foreigners – take the national caseload to 33,016 from a cumulative 433,530 tests.
“Our experts have indicated that levels of positivity rate country-wide have fallen from 13 per cent in June to 8 per cent in August 2020,” Uhuru said in a televised address.
However, the President noted that this needed a cautious welcome as the infections were rising in rural areas.
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“Although we have done well in our attempt to flatten the curve, there are two challenges that have continued to stifle our efforts,” he said, “The new frontier of this invisible enemy is increasingly shifting to the counties and rural areas.”
A disaggregated data of the new infections sent to newsrooms by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe showed that the new positive cases were from 4017 samples.
“One hundred and thirty-nine were male and 74 were female,” the statement said, adding that the youngest case was of an eight-month-old baby while the oldest was 92.
The cases were distributed in 24 counties, including Nairobi and Mombasa, effectively highlighting how infections were percolating to rural regions.
The distribution was as follows; Nairobi (101), Mombasa (19), Busia (17), Kiambu (12), Machakos (8), Kajiado (7), Isiolo (5), Kericho (6), Meru (5) and Bomet (4). Samburu, Bungoma, Kilifi, Kirinyaga and Kisii counties each had three cases. Kisumu, Murang’a, Lamu, Nakuru, Makueni each recorded two cases while Narok, Kwale, Tana River and Uasin Gishu reported a single case each.
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To help arrest the shift of the virus to the counties, the president directed the formation of a national reference group that will among other things the efficacy of Kenya’s response to the pandemic.
The team will be headed by the health cabinet secretary and the chairperson of the Council of Governors and will “formulate strategies to identify institutional weaknesses within healthcare system” at the counties and national government.
“We enter the sixth month of this war, we are also entering a phase known as the ‘Fog of War’,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta as he urged those in the counties to scramble for survival while still maintain their liberties.
“If we keep our civic responsibility high, we have a chance to reach the 5 per cent positivity rate recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for total re-opening,” he added.
Fortunately, some 241 people have recovered from the respiratory disease in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry data showed.
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One hundred and twenty of the recoveries were under the home-based care program that sets aside the already-strained hospital space for critically ill patients.
The total number of recoveries is now at 19, 296. This represents a recovery rate of 58 per cent.
Five patients, however, succumbed to the disease raising the fatalities to 564.
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