Hospitals across Kenya have raised the alarm over a steady rise in the number of Covid-19 patients in the past few days, a situation attributable to rising Delta variant infections.
Dr Mogere, a consultant urologist at The Nairobi Hospital and chairman of the Metropolitan Hospital Board says the numbers in the emergency admission rooms are going up rapidly, and will probably rise even higher in the next one or two weeks.
A study by KEMRI-Wellcome Trust last week projected an additional 4,300 hospitalisations and 580 deaths in Kenya from the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The experts also projected that the start of a fourth wave is imminent in the coastal region and Nairobi County, and is already causing a surge in cases in Nyanza and the Western belt which is under new curbs.
“The modelling of the Delta variant in the country has been done severally particularly after it was recorded in Western Kenya. The numbers are up. In Nairobi, most of the admissions in most of the hospitals about a month ago had gone down to very minimum single digit numbers but right across most of them the number are now up,” Dr Mogere said.
“The modelling and the statistics confirm that the Delta variant is spreading rapidly in the community and we expect the numbers to rise. If the measures that have been applied so far in controlling the spread are not maintained, the numbers will go up because that is the nature of the virus.”
Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said: “We fear a fourth wave as the numbers are increasing and all we can pray is that you our gallant soldiers [healthcare workers] will be available and healthy to offer the services as this wave comes,” adding that “the real danger is when the numbers are overwhelming and you run out of health facilities and then those who really need oxygen cannot access the bed and they will unnecessarily die, so it is the numbers that cause the trouble.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health confirmed 566 new cases of the virus in Kenya in the last 24 hours, pushing the total number of confirmed positive cases to 187,525.
The new infections, tested from a sample size of 5,344 posted a positivity rate of 10.6 per cent with a total of 2,001,786 samples tested so far.
At the same time, the death toll rose to 3,716 after 11 new deaths were recorded. One of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours while 10 were late deaths reported after conducting facility record audits in the months of March, June and July 2021.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe confirmed 1,934 patients recovered from the virus pushing the total recoveries to 176,456.
“1,693 are from the home based isolation and care, while 241 are various health facilities. Total recoveries now stand at 176,456 out of which 140,586 are from home based care and isolation program, while 35,870 are from various health facilities.”
Across the country, 1,136 patients are currently admitted in various health facilities while 4,825 patients are under home based isolation and care program. 116 patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 30 of whom are on ventilator support and 57 on supplemental oxygen. 29 patients are under observation.
Another 185 patients are separately on supplemental oxygen with 159 of them in general wards and 26 in High Dependency Units.
Africa has just had its “worst pandemic week ever,” the World Health Organisation said on Thursday. The continent’s stock of vaccines are drying up, and the virus’s more contagious Delta variant is sickening the young population and overwhelming the perpetually fragile health care systems.