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120 NEW CASES CONFIRMED

Contact tracing activated as several MPs test positive for virus

Six MPs were allegedly admitted to different city hospitals, with one said to be in ICU.

In Summary

• It is believed that many other legislators had come into contact with the confirmed cases, raising fear and panic that the number might be higher.

• The ministry has cautioned members of the public against attending public gatherings as they are avenues for the spread of the virus.

Health CAS Rashid Aman during the daily Covid-19 briefing at Afya House, Nairobi, on June 29, 2020.
Health CAS Rashid Aman during the daily Covid-19 briefing at Afya House, Nairobi, on June 29, 2020.
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The Health Ministry response teams have activated contact tracing for several legislators who are alleged to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

As of Monday, the total number of positive cases in the country was 6,190. This was after 120 new cases were confirmed.

Even though the ministry could not give the exact number, six MPs were allegedly admitted to different city hospitals, with one said to be in ICU.

It is believed that many other legislators had come into contact with the confirmed cases, raising fear and panic that the number might be higher.

“I don't have that information as to the number of MPs and how many they are, what their state is clinically, but I want to say that protocol for positive cases once they are identified is to do the follow-up contact tracing and that is done for any individual who turns out positive, regardless of his stature in society,” Health CAS Rashid Aman said on Monday.

“In terms of contact tracing, we have set protocols, which we must follow, regardless of who is the person affected. That is the procedure; we must follow the contacts and we must trace them, treat them, isolate them and that process will continue.”

This is a blow to the virus containment measures as the majority of lawmakers have, in the recent past, been shuttling from Nairobi to their constituencies, thus likely to spread the virus to the grassroots levels.

The ministry has, however, cautioned members of the public against attending public gatherings as they are avenues for the spread of the virus.

Some lawmakers have been seen in public gatherings in complete disregard for social distancing rules.

“The person standing next to you might be positive, so it is an individual responsibility. If you think you are in a gathering that has been prohibited, why don’t you avoid them yourselves?” director public health Francis Kuria said.

He, however, noted that talking about numbers and people who are infected might reverse the gains made in the fight against the stigma associated with the virus.

“The numbers might be there, but let's delink from that for the purpose of fighting stigmatisation. Let's talk about Kenyans getting infected and avoiding getting infected, avoid those gatherings,” Kuria said.

The new cases confirmed on Monday were from 2,221 samples tested in a day, with the cumulative tests conducted so far now standing at 167,417.

All the new cases except five were Kenyans aged between six and 83.

Nairobi continues to lead in the number of cases, with the county recording 67 new ones on Monday. Mombasa had 17, Kajiado and Machakos nine each, Kiambu eight, Uasin Gishu four, while Nakuru, Kilifi and Narok had two each.

On a positive note, 42 patients were discharged from health facilities across the country, bringing the total recoveries to 2,013.

One more patient, however, succumbed to the virus, bringing the total fatalities to 144.

Health CAS receives donations from UNFPA at Afya House on June 29, 2020.
Health CAS receives donations from UNFPA at Afya House on June 29, 2020.
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The community transmission is now firmly established in the country, accounting for 91 per cent of recorded cases, with the bulk of the cases being recorded in Nairobi and Mombasa.

So far, 41 of the 47 counties have reported at least a case.

“These numbers suggest that it is only a matter of time before all the counties record a Covid-19 case. This should not make us panic. It should strengthen our people to strictly adhere to the containment measures to prevent widespread infections within the counties,” Aman said.

Globally, as of Monday, the disease burden stood at 9.9 million, with more than 498,000 deaths recorded.