Govt. reconsiders Madaraka Day plans as Kisumu leads in new COVID-19 cases

Govt. reconsiders Madaraka Day plans as Kisumu leads in new COVID-19 cases

The government is reconsidering how to hold next week’s Madaraka Day celebrations scheduled to take place in Kisumu County following a surge cases in COVID-19 variants in the County. 

According to the Ministry of Health, 28 new cases of the deadly Indian COVID-19 variant have been detected in Kisumu County.  

“In a recent sequencing of the 39 SARS-CoV-2 RT PCR positive samples from Kisumu sub-counties, 28 samples aligned with the Indian variant (B.617.1), six samples aligned with UK variant, one sample aligned with the South African Variant.” read a statement from Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe.  

The CS says all the new variants are local transmissions: None of the 39 cases bearing the above variants gave a history of recent travel into or out of the country.  

“This is an indication of an ongoing widespread community transmission.” noted Kagwe. 

The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus (NERC), is also concerned that counties that are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases due to the emerging variants of concern (VOC, have had their situation compounded by large social and public gatherings, and limited availability of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

With the clock ticking fast towards next Tuesday’s Madaraka Day fete in Kisumu, deliberations are underway on the kind of event that will take place.  

“In view of these developments, and given that the County Government of Kisumu is supposed to host this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations, there are ongoing deliberations between the National Government and the County Government of Kisumu on the manner in which the day will be marked and we shall be making a further announcement after these deliberations.”  

Kisumu emerging as COVID-19 hotspot 

Kisumu has lately witnessed surging numbers of new infections and is slowly mutating into a COVID-19 hotspot.  

According to the latest COVID-19 update, Kisumu is leading with 57 new infections, with Nairobi coming second with 48. Nationally, 341 cases have been confirmed, from a sample size of 3,646, and a positivity rate of 9.4 percent.  

On 5th May 2021, Kenya recorded its first 5 cases of the Indian variant in Kisumu County, with the Ministry of Health confirming that the cases involved Indian nationals who had jetted into the country a week earlier.  

 “We picked this from a sample of Indian travelers who are doing some work in the western part of Kisumu. Health teams are doing contact tracing.” said Dr. Patrick Amoth, the Acting Director-General of Health.  

A week later, on 12 May 2021, the Government announced 15 more cases of the Indian COVID-19 variant.  

Meanwhile, the Government is set to commence the roll-out of the administration of the second dose of the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. 963,241 persons have been vaccinated so far against the COVID-19 disease countrywide.

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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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