Behind the good news: why you shouldn’t celebrate ‘success’ over COVID-19

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Despite the lower COVID cases, experts have warned that we are not seeing the full picture of the country.

In an interview with Citizen TV, Dr Githinji Githai, Group CEO of AMFREF Health Africa, said that we figures were looking at only reflected five counties.

The cautious reopening of President

Dr Githinji agreed with the President’s cautious reopening of the country. In yesterday’s update, President Kenyatta opened bars but kept curfew rules. However, he pushed back curfew hours, from 9 to 11 PM – 4 AM.

Dr Githinji said that was great from the President since we only had enough data from a few counties. This, he said, was great because, if things got out of hand, then it would be easy to trackback.

“It is a fairly cautious reopening as is expected, the President made it clear that we are not out of the woods yet. What we are seeing may just be the flattening of the first curve, which is related to only five counties; we do not know about the other 42 counties.”

On the curfew hours, Dr Githinji said that the curfew discouraged close contact in closed places from multiple households. Furthermore, meeting at night often meant that people stayed indoors, in close contact, for several hours. This increases the risk of transmission.

The missing trend

Dr Githinji also warned that there was no reason for celebrating, despite reduced cases. He said that while cases were going down, mortality figures remained high.

“The one trend Kenyans haven’t noticed is that as our confirmed cases are reducing, mortality numbers are not reducing. In fact, in the last 14-15 days of September, our mortality rate in the last 14 days has been 3 per cent. The low 1.8 mortality rate takes into account cases since the start of the pandemic.”

He said that 10 per cent of Kenya’s COVID cases came over the past two weeks alone. That alone was reason to remain vigilant even as the country reopens.

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