CRISIS MEETING

Kagwe flags Kiambu as infections among unvaccinated rise

On Wednesday, Kagwe held a crisis meeting with the Council of Governors

In Summary
  • Kiambu has so far fully vaccinated 19.3 per cent of its population.
  • It ranks third after Nairobi and Nyeri which have fully vaccinated 30.5 percent and 25.3 per cent.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe speaks while in Machakos county on December 14, 2021
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe speaks while in Machakos county on December 14, 2021

The government has raised concerns over the rising rate of hospitalisations among unvaccinated Kenyans.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe noted that 95 per cent of hospital admissions in the country are among people who are yet to get the Covid-19 jab, with Kiambu county having been flagged for recording 15 coronavirus cases in a day from zero infections.

Kiambu has so far fully vaccinated 19.3 per cent of its population, ranking third after Nairobi and Nyeri which have fully vaccinated 30.5 percent and 25.3 per cent.

Other counties that have vaccinated at least 10 per cent of their population include Laikipia with 19.1 per cent, Murang’a with 14.7 per cent, Uasin Gishu at 14.6 per cent, Taita Taveta at 14.5 per cent, Kirinyaga at 13.7 per cent, Nyandarua at 13.2 per cent, Nakuru at 13.1 per cent, Kajiado at 12.9 per cent, Kisumu 12.8 per cent and Mombasa at 12.5 per cent.

The ministry has however maintained that the hospitalisations are due to the delta variant and not the newly isolated Omicron variant as speculated.

On Wednesday, Kagwe held a crisis meeting with the Council of Governors to deliberate on the rising numbers, and review the state of preparedness in the counties to handle any surge in cases.

“We are meeting with the Council of Governors to determine and to plan a way forward in terms of preparation because there is no doubt that this new variant is most likely going to spread across the world,” Kagwe said.

“Therefore we need to be ready; we don’t want to start hurrying in the last minute preparations. We know that over the last 18 months or so we have built sufficient capacity in this country so it is the question of ensuring that we are managing it,” he added.

On Tuesday, the positivity rate hit a record high of 11.5 per cent after 331 people tested positive for the virus from a sample size of 2,872.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe speaks while in Machakos county on December 14, 2021
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe speaks while in Machakos county on December 14, 2021

The rate of infections has been on an upward trajectory in the past one week, a possible pointer that the country might be headed to the fifth wave.

“Capacity we have; we have oxygen, we have case managers we have a workforce that is now quite familiar with what we are doing and we know how to do it,” Kagwe said.

Data from the ministry shows that in the past eight days the positivity rate has been on the rise from 1.1 per cent on Monday December 6, to 1.6 per cent on Tuesday and 2.1 per cent on Wednesday.

The positivity rate was 2.4 per cent on Thursday, 2.8 per cent on Friday, 3.2 per cent on Saturday, five per cent on Sunday before rising further to 6.5 per cent on Monday this week.

With the December holidays fast approaching, the ministry has admitted that the rise in the cases might be a sign that the containment measures in place have to be adhered to but noted that it is still too early to decide on further stringent measures.

“Of particular importance is the issue regarding vaccination and vaccines. We have noticed so far that once vaccinated you are so much safer than when you are not. Even in Kiambu county where the rates have gone up by 15 people in a day those people have not been vaccinated.”

Experts had earlier warned of a possible fifth wave with projection that the wave would sweep the country from mid this November with a peak in January before subsiding in February.

The experts however noted that unlike was the case during the previous waves, the fifth wave might be less severe.

 

Edited by CM