Sunday June 21 marks 100 days since the novel coronavirus first arrived in Kenya on March 13. Since then a raft of measures was imposed, from closure of airports and restricting international flights to partial lockdowns of Nairobi and Mombasa, the two epicentres for the daily virus in the country to rollout of mass testing and advise of Kenyans to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the daily COVID 19 briefing announced that the cases rose to 4,738 after 260 individuals tested positive for the deadly virus over the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the first case was recorded in March.
This is after 3,651 samples were tested within the same period, bringing the total number of samples tested so far at 140,012.
21 individuals were discharged over the same period, bringing the total recoveries to 1,607. Two patients however succumbed to the disease, bringing the number of recorded fatalities to 123.
The youngest patient is 7 months old while the oldest is 90 years old.
Nairobi leads with 157 new cases while Mombasa has 42, Kwale 15, Kiambu 14, Machakos 9, Kajiado 7, Migori 3, Nakuru 3, Busia 3, Homabay 2, Kilifi 1, Kisii 1, Kisumu 1, Kakamega 1 and Laikipia 1.
CS Kagwe thanked several stakeholders for their role in combating the pandemic and highlighted the role of the media in spreading the word on the various safety measures recommended by the national government.
“I thank the media for highlighting matters relating to COVID-19. We are greatly indebted to you,” he began.
“We have put in the work and we will continue to do so taking note of and learning from the challenges and failures we have experienced since this journey began,” he added.
Following the outbreak, CS Kagwe revealed that the government had increased its capacity, with 58,958 tested between June 1 – June 21, with 2,717 testing positive for Covid-19.
He further revealed that by next week, each county will have at least 300 isolation bed capacity.
“Our systems are now much better, but we are still learning. COVID-19 has badly impacted our economy including loss of jobs. But the government has made much effort to contain it,” he said.
He also outlined how COVID-19 has affected people’s mental health citing measures such as staying at home, maintaining social distance including isolation which have caused anxiety.
“But we have seen change especially in behavior such as increased hand hygiene,” he said as he reitrated that that the guidelines serve to reduce risk of contracting the disease.
The Ministry of Health also kicked off a home-based care system for COVID-19 patients allowing them to recuperate at home. So far, 550 non-critical cases have been allowed to leave various hospitals and recover at their homes.
CS Kagwe also hinted that the virus would be in our borders for longer than expected and reminded Kenyans to observe the containment measures in place.
“It is evident that Covid-19 will be with us longer & it will stretch our healthcare system, it is now our personal responsibility to ensure we observe the containment measures to fight the disease.” he reminded Kenyans.