Kenya mulls fresh restrictions to curb third wave of COVID-19

Kenya mulls fresh restrictions to curb third wave of COVID-19

BKenya is set to mark one year since it recorded her first case of the novel coronavirus pandemic in march last year. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

But since the start of the month, the trajectory of the curve has taken on a worrying trend, if COVID-19 statistics reported in recent days are a pointer to go by.

This as the country recorded 713 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, marking the highest number in a single day infections in 12 months.

The new infections were confirmed out of a sample size of 5,230, translating to a positivity rate of 13.6 percent, marking another record high.

Still, in the last 24 hours, 12 patients have succumbed to the virus, pushing the cumulative number of fatalities to 1,898.

And now, Kenyans have been warned to brace themselves for tougher containment measures, ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s address to the nation this on March 12.

In the last 10 days alone, Kenya has recorded 42 deaths, which means, between 4 and 5 patients die every day because of the virus.

There are also concerns that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed, with 89 patients in intensive care units and 28 on supplementary oxygen.

What is also worrying is the rising positivity rate.

Since the beginning of March, the daily average daily positivity rate has stood at 9.4 percent, way above 5 percent, which the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for a country to be on the path to recovery.

But with heightened political activity witnessed in the last two months, the rising COVID-19 numbers should not come as a surprise as political rallies have been described as super spreader events with politicians and their supporters alike suspending COVID-19 protocols.

The looming restrictions come barely a week since Kenya received its first batch of AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.

The 1.02 million doses are targeted at reaching at least 400,000 frontline health care workers.

The government plans to roll out the vaccination campaign in three phases with a view to reaching 15 million Kenyans, which is about 30 percent of the population, by end of 2023.

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Ken Aseka is a hands-on broadcast journalist with genuine interest, skills and competencies in news sourcing, packaging, and dissemination. As a seasoned journalist, Aseka has previously worked with leading media houses in Kenya as a news editor, writer and reporter. He is currently a news editor at Metropol TV.

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