By Raymond Jumah
The country is not sitting pretty if the latest Covid-19 figures are anything to go by. There are mounting fears over new Covid-19 variants, which have seen a steep rise in positivity rates.
Government officials are raising the red flag over upsurge in fresh cases of the virus in the recent past, warning that the new wave could be coupled with a new variant.
Yesterday, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache urged Kenyans to be vigil to avert the spread of new infections, necessitating a return to masks.
“Yes, we got an alert over a deadly variant. We are waiting for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to advise us,” said Mochache in Vihiga yesterday.
She said that WHO is investigating two Omicron sub-variants to assess whether they are more infectious or dangerous compared with the previous ones.
According to Mochache, Kenyans ought to be careful and stick to covid-19 restrictions as earlier advised by the government.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had earlier announced re-introduction of mandatory wearing of face masks in all indoor meetings as part of measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 following the recent spike.
At least 419 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday 22, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Kenya to 330,024. A total of 3610 samples were tested of which 11.6 percent turned positive, according to the Principal Secretary.
Faced with the new threats, testing and vaccination for the virus across the country will be escalated. Testing centres have been increased with 96 public and private labs authorized to conduct tests. Some 472 facilities are conducting Rapid Diagnostic Tests.
The new threats could escalate the need for precision in mass testing. It comes in the wake of fresh doubts over the availability of credible Covid testing avenues across the county. Some mainstream hospitals, especially private ones, stand accused of commercializing testing at the expense of accurate results reporting.
The ministry fears the trend could lead to an escalation in casualties. Meanwhile, a taskforce by a Ministry of Health team has reprimanded a top facility over the claims, with a report released on May 27, 2022 highlighting teething systemic deficiencies. The report, whose details Kenya-today will highlight, raises teething integrity issues.
The current Covid cases per county as at yesterday are Nairobi (265), Kiambu (50), Kitui (22), Nakuru (20), Mombasa (10), Murang’a (10), Kilifi (8), Siaya (6), Embu (4), Turkana (4), Kisumu (3), Kericho (3), Meru (2), Nyeri (1), Tana River (1), Kakamega (1), Kisii (1), Makueni (1) Kajiado (2), Uasin Gishu (2), Busia (2) and one in Lamu.
Mochache attributes the Covid swelling numbers to the campaign season. “The threat is high and we must be on high alert because we are in the campaign period,” she said.