WHO calls for Covid vigilance as Kenya positivity rate drops

The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging African countries to remain vigilant in their battle against Covid-19 variants across the continent.

At the moment, the continent has recorded about 4.6 million cases of the virus and slightly over one hundred thousand deaths according to latest update from Africa CDC.

WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said Covid-19 is a life-threatening disease and could cause huge toll on the continent. 

“We cannot be lulled into a false sense of security as the continent’s case count appears relatively stable. The devastating surge of cases and deaths in India, and increases in other regions of the world, are clear signs of the risk of resurgence in African countries. The toxic mix driving this upsurge is present here in Africa,” she said.

Giving a case study of the deadly new infections wave in India, Dr Moeti added that Africa must adhere to laid down health guidelines.

“There probably has been a dropping off, of the observation by the population of the masking, physical distancing, and hand-washing measures. I think the lesson that we can learn in Africa — one, is to anticipate that such a wave is possible in different countries and to really look at what are some of the driving factors,” she said.

Read also: AU warns health systems will buckle if Covid cases surge like in India

Dr Moeti also cited the importance of avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining proven public health measures, including masking, social distancing, testing, and tracing of contacts.

She said Africa will have to find alternative vaccine supplies if it is to have any chance of stopping the coronavirus from spreading.

Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, Kenya has recorded 137 Covid-19 cases from a sample size of 1,641 posting a positivity rate of 8.3 per cent.

From the cases, the youngest is a 14-year-old child while the oldest is 97 years.

Total confirmed positive cases now stand at 160,559 with a cumulative of 1,681,420 tests so far conducted.

According to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, 18 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours; nine having occurred on diverse dates within the last one month while other nine are late death reports after facility record audits. The cumulative fatalities so far are 2,781.

At the same time, a total of 216 patients have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours. The total recoveries now stand at 109,077.

A total of 1,265 patients are currently admitted to various health facilities across the country.

On vaccination, CS Kagwe said about 887,000 people in Kenya have so far been inoculated against the virus. Out of these, 516,616 are aged 58 years and above; health workers are 158,168; teachers, 137,701 and security officers are 74,554.

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