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Amref denies links to study claiming over 800,000 Kenyans could die from virus

Amoth had said it's possible reported cases may rise to 10,000 by end of April.

In Summary

• Study claims that between 800,000 to 2, 000, 000 Kenyans could die from the coronavirus should the country get into a full-blown pandemic.

• Late last month, the ministry said it will base its response on the assumption that about 10,000 Kenyans will be infected by the end of April.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe. Image:File
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe. Image:File

Amref has denied any links with a study claiming that between 800,000 to 2, 000, 000 Kenyans could die from the coronavirus should the country get into a full-blown pandemic.

The study which has been publicised by one of the local newspapers and released last Friday claimed most of the victims will be those aged above 65 as well as individuals suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disorders, cancer and HIV/Aids.

Dr Githinji Gitahi, a member of the Amref Health Africa Board has distanced the organisation from the claims.

 
 

"Let me be clear that article associated with @Amref_Worldwide by the @StandardKenya is not our position but INDIVIDUALLY owned by one of our staff @joachimosur Prof of @AmrefUniversity Our position is a minimum transmission, minimum death, minimum harm! Apologies," he said in his official twitter account.

Gitahi said the study is owned by an individual and not the whole institution.

Kenya has since marked one month since the first case of coronavirus was reported.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Monday announced that the positive cases had shot up to 208, following an addition of 11 positive samples.

Out of the 208,  142 involved people with special needs.

Ministry of Health acting director-general Patrick Amoth had initially said it's possible reported cases may rise to the projected 10,000 by end of April or in May. 

"Yes, we still stand with the projection we gave you earlier.  The reason is that we've not gone to do community testing and the results we've been relaying to you are from our quarantine sites and a few cases picked by our rapid response teams. So we still stand by our earlier projection," Amoth said.

 
 

Late last month, the ministry said it will base its response on the assumption that about 10,000 Kenyans will be infected by the end of April.

"Those are the numbers that we are working with in terms of how we preposition our personal protective equipment, how we preposition our human resources and how we preposition isolation and quarantine facilities,” Amoth said on March 30. 

However, that worst-case scenario can be avoided if the government rigorously promotes public health measures like handwashing and social distancing.

"We don't know what is going to happen, whether the figures will match or not, taking into consideration the measures we've taken will also work in our favour," Amoth said.

Projections created by epidemiologists also showed the numbers will rise exponentially, only slowing down according to how well the public adhere to public health measures.  

The ministry on Monday said over 1,000 people can be tested per day.


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