Today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed that they have detected the COVID-19 virus variant from India in Kenya.
Acting Director-General for the Ministry of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, confirmed the news while speaking on Wednesday during the daily COVID-19 briefing. He said that they had reported the cases in five people working at a fertilizer plant in Kisumu.
HEALTH ACTING Director General Patrick Amoth says Indian Covid-19 variant has been detected in Kenya; 5 people being examined for double mutant. pic.twitter.com/JoJ72rIeiP
— Nation Breaking News (@NationBreaking) May 5, 2021
Five Indian nationals
“Yes, this variant (from India) has been detected in Kenya, and due to global connectivity, it was just a question of time,” Dr Amoth said, saying that there were no barriers to stop the virus from crossing territories.
The five were Indian nationals, with Dr Amoth saying that they were people who had arrived in the country on Thursday last week, before the flight ban. The area is now reinforced, with public health officials from Kisumu county to ensure it doesn’t spread.
“We have gone ahead together with the Kisumu County health team to do contact tracing,” Dr Amoth added.
Declining positivity rate
The news comes as Kenya sees a decline in the COVID-19 positivity rate. Today, 489 people were confirmed to have gotten COVID-19 from a sample size of 4,426. That puts Kenya’s positivity rate at 11 %. Yesterday, the positivity rate was 5.2%, the lowest in months.
The decline also follows the lifting of lockdown measures, which had been in place for close to a month.
The variant from India has proven to be more infectious and deadly. India is currently seeing record-breaking infections in the country, passing 400,000 cases a day. The surge has seen cases in India shoot from 11 million to over 20 million in just a few weeks.
Aside from the variant, however, there are also political causes for the chaos in India. India Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has encountered criticism over how he has handled the pandemic.
He has continued to hold large public rallies even as India surged to the worst of COVID yet. Sports, including the very popular cricket, have also continued, with spectators attending matches in droves.