The number of COVID-19 patients in Kenya has surged past 20,000 after 723 more people tested positive for the virus.
The new cases take Kenya’s cumulative caseload to 20,636 cases.
In the latest update, CS Kagwe confirmed that the new infections came from 8,679 samples tested. That raised the number of tests done to 303, 959.
There was yet another high number of fatalities, with 16 people dying from the virus in the past 24 hours. That raises the total number of fatalities to 341.
On a more positive note, however, 44 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 8,165.
A Drop in number of recoveries
The recoveries have tailed off in recent days after surging over the past few weeks. CS Kagwe attributed this to two factors.
“There is a drop in recoveries. When we started home-based care, we were releasing people after 14 days which is why there was a huge number,” he said of the surge.
They were following the WHO guidelines, which called for releasing one after 14 days even when they remained positive. That was because they were less infectious then.
The second reason for low recoveries, Kagwe said, was due to the cold season.
“We are in the second phase of flu season; I believe this weather is causing fewer people to recover.”
Younger people dying
He also called on younger Kenyans to take precautions in protecting themselves, and others, against the disease. He pointed out that a 22-year-old, a 24-year-old, a 28-year-old and a 37-year-old were among yesterday’s fatalities.
The 28-year-old had no underlying condition. That means, then, that 10 of the 30 fatalities over the past 48 hours had no comorbidities.
On contact tracing, the CS said that the community infection of COVID-19 was so widespread that contact tracing was impractical. Kagwe said that they would instead, use it to protect areas with low infections.
However, he said that they would push the level of preparedness in all counties to curb the virus.