Helping hand: Kenya gets 20,000 Covid-19 test kits

As the third wave of Covid-19 infection sweeps across country, Kenya is reporting an average of 1,044 coronavirus cases daily.

While new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to rise, the need to ramp up the testing has never been more urgent.

With a little over a year since the country reported the first Covid-19 case, Kenya has only managed to test about 1,530,736 people with 141,365 turning out positive.

The government’s campaign to step up Covid-19 testing has received a boost after Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUH,N) donated over 20,000 testing kits valued at KES44 million to the Ministry of Health.

“Kenya is also currently experiencing the third wave of Covid-19; this help therefore couldn’t have come at a more opportune time,” said Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache.

The donation is financed by the German government through a grant offered by the German Development Bank (KFW) to AKUH, Nairobi, and the Aga Khan Health Services, East Africa.

Read also: Amid Covid-19 surge, US slaps Kenya with travel advisory as AstraZeneca vaccine woes deepen

“As a private sector player we appreciate that neither the public system nor the private sector players can sufficiently battle this pandemic alone. We value the importance of working together to respond to this pandemic and in future projects aimed at improving our healthcare system,” said AKUH,N’s chief executive Rashid Khalani.

German Ambassador Annett Günter said: “We are in this fight together with our Kenyan friends and partners. Germany and the EU have been leading the multilateral response to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. We aim at ensuring global and equitable access to vaccines, tests and treatments. Global cooperation and solidarity is our only chance to defeat the virus everywhere.”

Read also: Kenya Covid-19 vaccine rollout gathers pace as 325,000 people get the shot

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a raft of restrictive measures on businesses and individuals in his March 26 speech to help check the spread of coronavirus in the country.

In the new measures, Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Nakuru counties were looped into one zone where among others, people are not allowed to move in our out, bars and churches remain shut, restaurants only offer take away services “until further notice” in an effort to stop a straining the hospital system.

The cessation of movement measure was necessitated by sharp rise in reported new Covid-19 cases and a surge in ICU hospitalization due to the pandemic.

Kenya has also been administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to frontline healthcare workers, teachers, security personnel and well as senior citizens over the age of 58 to help check the spread of the virus.

Kenya, a nation of 50 million people, has so far administered 325,000 doses of the vaccine according to latest figures from the ministry.

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