SURGING CASES

Choose to swim or sink, Kenyans told over virus numbers

Kagwe said 28 patients are in ICU with over 1,000 admissions across the country.

In Summary

• Kagwe said public gatherings including burials, weddings and even political rallies seem to have resumed with total disregard to the protocols.

• So far Kenya has recorded 44,881 Covid-19 cases after 685 more people tested positive in at least 24 hrs.

Lab technologist Edwin Sumba collects mouth swab for COVID-19 testing at Kasarani Health Centre on Saturday 17, October
Lab technologist Edwin Sumba collects mouth swab for COVID-19 testing at Kasarani Health Centre on Saturday 17, October
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

The government has raised concerns over the current increase of Covid-19 infections.

Through the ministry of Health, the government said the current spike has been triggered by wanton violations of containment protocols.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Sunday said for instance bars are neither requiring their patrons to observe social distancing or asking them to wear masks.

Kagwe said public gatherings including burials, weddings and even political rallies seem to have resumed with total disregard to the protocols.

So far Kenya has recorded 44,881 Covid-19 cases after 685 more people tested positive in at least 24 hrs.

This was from 4,912 samples that were tested with 456 being males and 229 females, the youngest being one-year-old and the oldest 99 years.

Since the first case was reported in March, Kenya has conducted 621,976 tests with 31,857 recoveries being recorded and 832 deaths.

"We need to reflect on these numbers and especially the rising positive cases and deaths. if they don't mean anything to you, then please let your loved ones count because when all else fails ..... it is your sacred duty to care for them," Kagwe said.

Kagwe said when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced relaxation measures, the positivity rate was at 4 per cent but currently has spiked to 12 per cent.

"We can confidently point to a potential crisis unless we take immediate action to avert this. We can choose to sink or swim," he said.

According to the CS, those aged between 20-39 years account for 54 per cent of all the positive cases.

"Majority of our deaths are amongst those above 58 years but we have also lost those in their 20s and 30s and today their parents and children are crying over their graves," he said.

Kagwe said it is unfortunate that the majority of young people are taking the greatest risk with the disease and flirting with it.

"This is not just a problem for the youth, we are seeing a return to normalcy even among health care workers. These times are not normal because normal behaviour will have abnormal consequences," Kagwe said.

The CS took a swipe at political leaders accusing them of being at the forefront of violating containment measures.

"Leadership is not just about positions. If leaders do not observe measures given the signal they send to the public is that all is well yet it is not," he said.

Kagwe added, "Somebody has to take responsibility and it must start with political leaders, business owners and the organisers of events that attract crowds".

He said, as a result, there is an increase in ICU cases with 28 patients being admitted.

Out of the 28 cases, 10 are on ventilators, 14 on supplementary oxygen and 4 are under observation.

Kagwe said there are close to 1,000 admissions in various health facilities across the country with higher cases originating from prisons and other institutions.

He said there is a high possibility that the country is headed a second wave of the disease.