Kenya at cusp of fourth Covid-19 wave as US issues travel advisory

 Kenya at cusp of fourth Covid-19 wave as US issues travel advisory

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

Kenya has been posting Covid-19 positivity rate of 9 per cent and above in the past two weeks, a situation that make Kenyans frightened about new fourth wave of the pandemic.

However, health experts have said the next two weeks will be key in determining the fate of the Covid-19 fourth wave as the cold weather subsides.

At the same time, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Kenya due to surging Covid-19 cases.

“You risk of contracting Covid-19 and developing severe symptoms… before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers,” the American government advisory notes in part.

Health experts have warned that the next two weeks will determine whether the fourth wave, attributed to the virulent Delta variant which has already seen health facilities in the country buckle, will become worsen or ease.

“The next two weeks as the cold season edges to a close will be key in determining whether the fourth wave will accelerate out of control depending on how the delta variant intensifies in Nairobi and neighboring counties, and then spread to other previously less involved counties,” pathologist Dr Ahmed Kalebi has said.

The Ministry of Health had acknowledged that the delta variant is now transmitting in the community due to laxity among Kenyans and failure to adhere to the set containment measure.

Read also: Civil servants ordered to get Covid-19 shot by August 23

With the future of pandemic still lying on the balance and the country’s curve not close to flattening, the government has gone ahead to allow public vehicles carry passengers full capacity, a move faulted by the health experts.

“That has come too soon. We must have waited for scientific evidence. I don’t think it is the best public health advice to make people sit closer when you are still talking about one metre,” global health expert Dr Bernard Muia said.

He, however, added that they expect the numbers to go down soon based on the change of weather.

“I expect positivity rate to go towards less than 10 per cent in two weeks, if we keep the testing and gradually going towards perhaps five by late October.”

According to the World Health Organization a country is considered to have come out of a wave if it records a positivity rate of less than five per cent for a consistent period of 14 days.

In the last 24 hours, the country posted a positivity rate of 14.5 per cent, after 1,183 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded from 8,144 samples tested. This now pushes the total case load to 213,756.

In a statement signed by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, atotal of 1,318 patients recovered from the virus, pushing total recoveries stand at 198,786.

However, 32 more deaths were recorded, 31 from facility record audits on diverse dates between April and August 2021, while one occurred in the last 24 hours. The total fatalities stand at 4,211.

A total of 1,827 patients are currently admitted to various hospitals countrywide, 8,529 of whom are under the home-based isolation and care program.



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