We are not out of danger yet, Health CS Kagwe warns

The Ministry of Health is warning that the country is not out of the woods yet despite the low coronavirus infection rates.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the country’s death rate standing at 4.6 per cent is within the global average of 6.3 per cent but cautioned that countries being overrun by the virus reported similar figures during the initial months.

He advised against being deceived by the figures. “ We are aware that there are those looking at our figures and celebrating early. Let me send a word of caution. We are not out of danger yet. Our figures should not deceive us into dropping the ball.”

As of 15 April, Kenya had reported 12 new cases raising the total infections to 225 cases. So far, 9,630 samples have been tested with 53 recoveries and 10 deaths.

The CS appealed to Kenyans to religiously observe the laid down guidelines to flatten the curve of Covid-19.

He said the game changer in winning the war on the pandemic is in mass testing, isolation and treatment adding that the government was working towards doubling sample collection and testing capacity which was being hampered by the global shortage of reagents.

“At the time we are at now, on day 33, some countries that are experiencing serious issues had not even started testing like we have done. Spain a time like now had tested 5,400 people as opposed to our 9,000 and am sure by tomorrow we will hit the 10,000 mark. The projected figures depend on what we do and are based on worst case scenarios.”

Targeted testing of health workers was launched Tuesday at Kenyatta National Hospital with 100 medics tested recording negative results.

KNH CEO Evanson Kimuri maintains that there is no cure or treatment for Coronavirus and what they are doing at the hospital’s Infectious Diseases Unit  at Mbagathi is what is called symptomatic management.

Also called the palliative treatment, the symptomatic management is a type of therapy that eases the symptoms without addressing the basic cause of the disease.

“Most of the people we have had and we have in our isolation centers are in good care. We are maintaining them. We have to manage these cases as per and how they present. And more so, if they have other comorbidities for example if they are diabetic, hypertensive, renal issues, cardiac issues, cancer issues, all these are the ones we maintain and the more we maintain the patients more often  than not they tend to recover. People must take things seriously because viruses behave differently to different people”, he said.

Siaya cases

Meanwhile, the Acting Public Health Director-General Dr. Patrick Amoth is leading a high level team COVID-19 response team from the Ministry of Health to Siaya County to assess the status of the quarantine and isolation centres.

Kagwe said the team dispatched to Siaya County was on an urgent mission. He said the team was carrying with it essential medical supplies for healthcare workers in County.

The supplies include the personal protective equipment. Further, the team has been detailed to interact with the locals to ensure they understand the danger that COVID-19 poses.

Siaya County is listed among 21 counties in Kenya where the novel coronavirus has since spread to.

A Rome-based catholic priest Father Richard Onyango Oduor who tested positive for coronavirus came in to contact with over 100 people in Siaya. Oduor was discharged from hospital last Thursday.

In addition, Kenya Ports Authority staff James Oyugi Onyango died of COVID-19 in a local health facility in Siaya County



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