26 new Covid deaths as Kenyans defy pandemic containment rules

Covid-19 virus fatalities continue to rise in Kenya with 26 more people succumbing to the virus in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of casualties to 2,394.

The rising death toll comes as a huge number of people get arrested for flouting Covid-19 containment measures imposed by the government.

Over 900 people have been arrested in Nairobi County for flouting Covid-19 protocols on curfew, and wearing of mask.

Outspoken Gatundu South MP, Moses Kuria, was arrested alongside 29 others and charged with failure to wear a mask, flouting curfew rules, and holding unlawful assembly. A Kiambaa Court slapped the MP with fine of KES75,000 or serve eight months in prison.

“The suspects were found gathering illegally, others were caught past curfew hours in different places and some were found in entertainment joints without masks,” said Augustine Nthumbi, the Nairobi County Police Commander.

On March 26, President Kenyatta listed the five counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu, and Nakuru as disease infected areas while directing rollout of more stringent restrictions to combat the increasing cases of new infections.

Read also: Livestock scientists to help Kenya identity Covid-19 variants

The World Health Organization has warned against complacency in handling Covid-19 pandemic, saying the disease still has a long way from ending. WHO Director-General, Mr Tedros  Ghebreyesus says that it can be brought under control in months with proven public health measures.

“This disease is not flu. Young healthy people have died and we still don’t fully understand the long-term effect of infection for those who have survived. Several countries in Asia and Minneapolis have seen large increases in cases. This is despite the fact that more than 780 million doses of vaccines have now been administered globally.”

Meanwhile the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to hold an advisory meeting on Wednesday, April 14, to review the cases, where six recipients of the Johnson & Johnson shot developed rare blood clots, a move that prompted the country’s federal health agencies to pause its use.

All the six were women between the ages of 18 and 48. One woman died and a second is in Nebraska hospitalized in critical condition, the New York Times reported.

Read also: Covid-19 shots near 500,000 as Kenya misses key vaccine manufacturing forum

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the US.

The move from the U.S. regulators comes less than a week after Europe’s drugs regulator said it was reviewing rare blood clots in four people in the US who received the shot.

Some 991 positive cases have been reported in Kenya in the last 24 hours, pushing the national caseload to 147,147. The positive cases were from a sample size of 6,417 posting a positivity rate of 15.4 per cent.

A statement from the Health ministry on Tuesday indicated 1,670 patients are admitted in various health facilities in the country. 

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