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Covid-19: worst could come in September

ANGELA OKETCHBy ANGELA OKETCH
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Brace yourself for a sharp spike in daily new Covid-19 infections, the Health ministry has said, as it plans to test more than 3,000 samples per day soon.

However, should Kenyans observe the stipulated measures — wearing masks in public, practising social distancing and washing hands — the ministry says infections could dip.

Issuing Covid-19 data on Wednesday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Kenya has enough testing kits that could last a month.

“With the increase in the number of infections, it means that the virus is silently spreading amongst unwitting Kenyans, and the more tests done the more we know how the virus is spread,” he said.

The government has received 22,000 kits for its automated testing systems, 28,000 kits for manual testing machines and 83,000 kits for sample collection.

“We have ordered more and we should be able to handle about 3,000 tests a day” he said.

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Health acting Director-General Patrick Amoth said the ministry had projected the infections that have entered the community phase.

“With the target testing, we will see the numbers going up and this should not worry Kenyans because it is really going to inform some of the interventions that we taking.”

He noted that the worst of the pandemic was yet to come as the ministry says the peak will come in August or September.

“We project now that our peak will be around August-September, in which case we will be reporting around 200 plus cases a day. That is if we continue with the measures and interventions we have put in place today,” he said.

“Our wish is to continue with the measures we have put in place which has enabled us to have a smoother curve,” he said.

By the end of Wednesday, 49,405 samples had been tested, revealing 1,029 infections. On Thursday, 80 cases were reported, bringing the total to 1,109. Of these, 366 have recovered while 50 have died.

Kenya has 20 labs in 10 counties. The government is setting up two more, in Migori and Nyeri, to handle samples from the Tanzania border and the larger Mt Kenya region.

“There is no laboratory in the Mt Kenya region yet there are several issues that we need to focus on. Now with the availability of the kits and the expansion of the laboratories, we will definitely register more infections,” Mr Kagwe said.