NUMBERS TO RISE

Kenya's Covid cases, deaths to peak in March - Kemri

The institute attributed this to the schools' reopening.

In Summary

• Reopening schools in the country will increase the time-varying reproductive number by 25 per cent.

• Impact of other events such as new variants could increase the reproductive number by more than 25 per cent, and case numbers and deaths would then exceed predictions.

Vial that contain Viral transport media liquid that keeps the virus alive until it is tested in the laboratory at Beafra Medical Center on May 15,2020/ MERCY MUMO
Vial that contain Viral transport media liquid that keeps the virus alive until it is tested in the laboratory at Beafra Medical Center on May 15,2020/ MERCY MUMO

The Kenya Medical Research Institute has projected that the rate of Covid-19 cases and deaths will peak in mid-March 2021.

The institute attributed this to the schools' reopening a move that has been considered as the cause of the rise of the transmission rate in Kenya.

This will increase the time-varying reproductive number by 25 per cent.

This will also increase mixing between social clusters that were not in contact whilst schools were closed.

“Under the most plausible scenario, we project that the rate of Covid-19 case and death incidence will peak in mid-March 2021,” Kemri said.

Also, it has projected 13.7 thousand (10.6k-16.8k) new determined virus cases and 116 (58-289) new Covid-19 attributed deaths by June 1, 2021.

The estimated increase in 25 per cent reproductive number is conditional on other restrictions that reduce transmission remaining in place, and measures being in place to reduce transmission in the school setting.

At the same time, the impact of other events such as new variants could increase the reproductive number by more than 25 per cent, and case numbers and deaths would then exceed our predictions.

As by Wednesday, the total confirmed positive cases in the country since March 2020 were 99,444, while the number of deaths were 1,736.

The cumulative tests so far conducted are 1,134,494 while the total recoveries now stand at 82,654.

The Ministry of Health has also said its modified model is consistent with the second peak without the need to include waning immunity or new variants of SARS-CoV-2.

“It is possible that school openings will further increase the reproductive number and population mixing, and so we have examined predictions for this impact.”