Kenya’s April COVID-19 curve

Kenya’s COVID-19 cases and positivity rate sharply drop

Kenya recorded almost double COVID-19 deaths in the month of April compared to March.

According to data from the Ministry of health, 571 deaths were reported by the end of April, compared to 290 fatalities in the previous month.

The deviation representing a 96.9 percent increase.

In April, Kenya registered an average of 20 daily deaths. Out of the 571 fatalities, 177 were reported between April 1 and April 10 while 205 were between April 21 and April 30h.

So far Kenya’s death toll stands at over 2,700 with the month of April accounting for 21 percent of COVID-19 related deaths. The country’s fatality rate is at 1.7 percent, slightly lower than the global rate of 2.1 percent.

Lately, the Ministry of health has been differentiating the deaths, depending on when they occurred. For instance, on Friday, 17 deaths were reported, 13 of which occurred on diverse deaths within the month and 4 from facility record audits.

Positivity Rate

The average COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 13.7 percent against 14.3 percent in March.

On Friday, the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced a positivity rate of 9.7 percent after 497 cases were captured from a sample size of 5117 tests.

25,257 coronavirus infections were reported in April, representing 15.9 percent of the country’s caseload which has shot up to 159,318, while March had 28,085 cases.

During the month of April, the highest positivity rate was 20.5 percent, while the lowest was 9.6 percent. The World Health Organization, (WHO) recommends that a country maintains a positivity rate of below 5 percent for at least 14 days before easing COVID-19 containment measures.

In his 15th address on coronavirus, President Uhuru Kenyatta raised a red flag over spiking positivity rate, before revising the restrictions.

“The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in January 2021 was 4,380; this has now shot to 15,916 confirmed cases by 21st March 2021. At the end of January 2021, our COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 2.6 percent. By Monday 22nd March 2021, the positivity rate had jumped to 19 percent; and indications by our experts is that the positivity rate is now settling at 22 percent,” said President Kenyatta.

Containment measures

Following an upsurge in the number of cases, deaths and strain on the healthcare system, the President announced a raft of measures towards end of March, in a bid to arrest the situation.

A partial lockdown was imposed on five countries, namely Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru. The counties were individually and collectively declared a Disease Infected Zone.

“There shall be cessation of all movement by road, rail, or air into and out of the disease infected area as one zoned area comprising of the Counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru, effective Midnight tonight,” read part of the President’s speech.

As if that was not enough, bars were closed in the five counties.

“Operations of bars is suspended in the Counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru. Similarly, the sale of alcohol in restaurants and eateries in the five counties is prohibited, until further notice,”

The President also revised curfew hours from 10 P.M – 4 A.M to 8 P.M – 4.AM in the Disease Infected Zone. The enforcement of the curfew, however, has been chaotic, with police coming under fire for blocking highways and barring essential service providers from working.

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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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