•The experts have noted that emerging evidence from countries currently experiencing waves show that less hospitalization and case fatality rates.
•The rise in infections in parts of the world has been attributed to the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant of the coronavirus.
Kenya is likely to be spared the next Covid-19 wave, health experts have said.
This comes even as the Health Ministry warned of a possible rise in infections in the country as a result of the expected flu season.
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi on Wednesday expressed concern that despite recording low positivity rates in the past few months, the country is getting into the flu season which is associated with a spike in Covid-19 infections.
“Yes our positivity is down, yes we are seeing fewer admissions but remember we have a flu season coming and so the risk of Covid-19 is still very present and vaccines should be taken up,” Mwangangi said.
The experts have noted that emerging evidence from countries currently experiencing waves show less hospitalisation and fatality rates.
The rise in infections in parts of the world has been attributed to the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant of the coronavirus.
The extremely contagious sub-variant is however said to cause less severe disease.
Even though the local research teams at Kenya Medical Research Institute always conduct periodic genomic sequencing on variants to pick any new strains it's not clear whether the said variant is in the country.
“We don’t know because we have not done any study findings to know whether perhaps we could also be having had the same sub-variant, we don’t know yet,” Dr Benard Muia told the Star on Thursday.
“I doubt if we will get a wave but even if we get it, the impact might not be very bad,” he said.
Muia is a global health expert and the health chairman in Murang’a municipal board.
Data from the ministry shows that Kenya had confirmed 323,319 cumulative cases after 13 more people tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, with the country recording a positivity rate of 0.3 per cent.
Twenty six patients recovered from the disease bringing the total recoveries to 317,534, 264,522 are from the home-based care and isolation programme and 53,012 are from various health facilities countrywide.
“I am monitoring several counties in Kenya and as I speak the data I have for Murang’a is zero, the positivity rate, admission and death is still as of yesterday," Muia said.
"I am still analysing 15 more counties because I have the data but the trend is very good."
According to Dr Joseph Aluoch, Kenya does not do much virology on flu because the country does not experience the seasonal outbreaks seen in Europe, but only surges around July to August.
Aluoch is the president of the Pan African Thoracic Society, the professional association for lung health in Africa.
“We don’t have good PCR tests for flu like Covid. It’s more difficult to identify it. Covid tests are easier,” he said.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that circulate around the world and are typically more prevalent during the cold season.
During peak seasons an influenza epidemic can overwhelm health systems.
The ministry on Wednesday raised alarm that more than 840,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines had expired, with a concern that another one million Johnson and Johnson jabs are likely to expire in the next three weeks.
This has forced the ministry to halt any further vaccines imports into the country and shift focus on public awareness and mass drives in an effort to ensure an increased uptake of the doses already in the country.