- The kits will enhance the country’s testing capacity especially with the discovery of new variants.
- The first case of the Indian variant was detected in the country on May 5.
Kenya receives 75,000 PCR test kits donation to boost the fight against Covid-19.
Japan International Cooperation Agency donated to KEMRI to boost the laboratory’s capacity for Covid-19 testing.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe while receiving the donation on Friday at Afya House said the kits will enhance the country’s testing capacity, especially with the discovery of new variants.
"The government will commit substantial resources to the medical research body to make it a premier capacity building institution in the region" he said.
Japan’s ambassador to Kenya Horie Ryoichi said his government is committed to fair and equal deployment of Covid-19 doses across the world.
"As witnessed during the Covax Advanced Market Commitment Summit where Japan pledged to contribute a further Usd800 million to support the cause" he said.
Health PS Susan Mochache, Acting KEMRI director general Professor Samuel Kariuki, KEMRI board chair Lt. Colonel (Rtd) Dr Daniel Mbinda and JICA chief representative in Kenya Iwama Hajime were also present.
The ministry said it will be scaling contact tracing and testing in the country to determine the spread of the Indian variant.
“The belief is that the Indian variant in the country came with some Indians at some point, before the travel limitations that we have in place,” Kagwe said.
The Health ministry says increased testing and genomic sequencing of a significant number of people will help determine the extent of spread.
This will inform whether tougher measures can be taken especially around the Lake region where the first five cases were reported.
"Discussions are underway on the appropriate measures we ought to take based on the seriousness and number of cases that continue to be admitted," he said.
The first case of the Indian variant was detected in the country on May 5.
Data from the World Health Organisation shows that the variant has now spread to at least 50 countries.
At least 20 cases of the Indian variant have been reported in the country.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)