More young people contracting Covid as Delta variant spreads

Doctors are worried that more young people are being hospitalized for Covid-19 as the highly transmissible Delta variant sweeps across the country.

Previously, the risk was higher for older people aged 60 years and above and those with comorbidities.

However, the trend is changing and the young unvaccinated population is the most vulnerable.

According to Dr Hussein Bagha, a Consultant Physician and Nephrologist at the MP Shah hospital, the Delta variant that has been detected in at least 132 countries is causing more severe disease among the young adults who may soon make up the largest demographic of infected people.

The Ministry of Health is currently prioritising second doses for health workers, teachers, other essential workers and people aged over 58.

The uptake of the second dose by Priority Groups according to the latest statistics is as follows: Aged 58 years and above 204,789, Others 193,107, Health Workers 115,647, Teachers 96,026 while Security Officers are at 52,868.

The variant is also driving a majority of the increase in Covid-19 cases with the positivity rate at 12.5 pc after 591 people tested positive for the disease Monday, August 2 from a
a sample size of 4,737 tested in the last 24 hours.

Dr Bagha who was speaking on KBC #Prime Edition with Tom Mboya warned that a fourth severe wave is in the offing noting that hospitals are overwhelmed by soaring cases.

The physician who also heads the Renal and Transplant Unit

“ There is a lot of laxity. You enter supermarkets and shoppers have face masks dangling off their chins, people are back to shaking hands, parties and gatherings. If this continues, we will not cope as a country” he cautioned.

He cited India where the country battled a massive second Covid wave after a series of political rallies and a week-long religious festival.

“Political rallies are super spreaders and India is an example of how infections spiked to 400,000 cases daily. Our health infrastructure cannot deal with the cases that can come about as a result of the political gatherings”.

Dr Bagha appealed to Kenyans to stop flouting Covid-19 protocols as the war against the pandemic was far from over.

“Currently as we speak the numbers are very high, every day at MP Shah we must transfer patients in need of critical care to other facilities because we cannot cope and ICU facilities are scarce. All am saying is we are still grappling with the pandemic, and as such we must be responsible citizens” he advised.

On Kidney treatment, the expert said transplants had been put on hold across the country after the pandemic struck last year owing to the risk factors for severe COVID-19 in this patient group.

He said transplants entail putting patients who are already predisposed on immunosuppressants that lower their immune system to prevent the body from rejecting your new kidney.

“Transplants come with collateral damage, therefore, we had to put on hold the programmes as we developed guiding Covid protocols” he explained.

He however assured that patients needing transplants were not in any form of danger even after the suspension.

“ There are two renal replacement therapy i.e dialysis and transplant. Transplant is never an emergency. The stopgap measure is dialysis which acts as a surrogate kidney to clean all the toxins and majority of those needing the procedure are on dialysis and stable”



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