MASS TESTING

Kenya to double sample collection, testing capacity to beat virus

Kagwe says government has received another consignment of testing kits from Jack Ma.

In Summary

• AAccording to Kagwe, the ministry has been conducting slightly above 800 samples in a span of 24 hours but with the new kits, the numbers are likely to double.

• Kagwe said this is after the government received an additional consignment of testing kits from the Jack Ma foundation.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the COVID-19 daily brief at Afya House on Wednesday.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the COVID-19 daily brief at Afya House on Wednesday.
Image: MERCY MUMO

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday said the ministry will now double its sample collection and testing capacity.

Kagwe said this is after the government received an additional consignment of testing kits from the Jack Ma foundation.

He said initially, the ministry lacked reagents to facilitate the testing.

"I am proud to report that we have today received another consignment of testing kits from the Jack Ma and this should double our efforts and capacity in sample collection and testing," he said.

The CS said another consignment of surgical masks and gloves from Germany, China and France had also been received.

According to Kagwe, the ministry has been conducting slightly above 800 samples in a span of 24 hours but with the new kits, the numbers are likely to double.

He said the government is currently banking on mass testing, isolation and treatment as the game changer in beating the virus.

"We have had a 4.6 per cent death rate so far compared to other countries in the same period. At day 33 we are likely going to see the level of stress increase because we are not out of danger so we must stick to the plan and uphold it," Kagwe said.

Kagwe said the kits in the new consignment will be distributed to areas of priority before the end of the week.

Kenya has so far reported 225 Covid-19 cases after nine new cases tested positive in the last 24 hours.

Kagwe said all the nine cases involve Kenyans with no travel history but picked up by surveillance teams through contact tracing.

"We have had five discharges bringing the total number of recoveries to 53. However on a sad not we have lost one patient bring the number of fatalities to 10," Kagwe said.

So far over 2,336 contacts have been monitored.

Currently mass testing of all health workers has commenced and 100 nurses at KNH have undergone the test.

Kagwe said the tests now shift to those in Intensive Care Units and wards that are directly involved.

He said the testing will however be done systematically from non-epicenters and then zero in to epicenters.