The Health ministry on Thursday warned that Covid-19 numbers that appear to be declining may reverse and spike again.
Yesterday a total of 212 people tested positive as virus cases rised to 34,705.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman and Health director-general Patrick Amoth urged Kenyans to remain vigilant and not relax observations of all Covid-19 protocols. They spoke at Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Aman said the government has not confirmed whether the virus has reached its peak as earlier projected to be between August and September. He appealed to Kenyans to unite and fight the virus, adding that personal responsibility is the key in containing the disease.
“The current downward trajectory on positivity rates shouldn’t make Kenyans relent from adhering to the laid-down protocols against the disease. The curve can reverse its trend,” Aman said.
During the early stages when the virus was first reported in the country, experts projected the peak would be between August and September.
Aman and the team were hosted by Governor Cyprian Awiti. He said the government had less information about how the virus spreads when some of the first cases were reported.
“There is a need to exercise extra caution, despite the reported decrease in the number of infection. We might be having the decreasing numbers of infection because of the guidelines set by the government,” he said.
Some of the measures the government has introduced to slow down the spread of the virus include night curfew and limiting the number of people in social gatherings.
The CAS said the country may consider relaxing the guidelines if the infection rate reduces below five per cent for two weeks consecutively as required by the WHO.
During the briefing, Aman said the country recorded 212 new cases from 3937 samples tested. Four people died, raising the number of deaths to 585 since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Total confirmed cases to date are 34,705.
Amoth said the infection rate being reported is exactly as the government had projected. “The government had predicted the current reducing numbers. That’s why we identified hotspots but that shouldn’t make us feel comfortable and stop doing the right thing,” he said.
With increase community transmission, Amoth called for heightened surveillance at the community level, with 100 per cent contact tracing. He said the government can only consider relaxing the rules if the projection of five per cent transmission rate within the next two weeks is realised.
The government is engaging Ugandan authorities to end the stalemate at Busia border where truck drivers are denied access to the neighbouring country without a Covid-19 certificate.
“Let us heighten the level of surveillance within our borders to ensure there is no loophole in the fight against the virus. The government is hopeful the disease will be contained and we return to normalcy,” Amoth said.
Awiti appealed to the national government to elevate the county teaching and referral hospital from level 4 to level 5. He said Homa Bay Teaching and Referral Hospital is one of the oldest facilities in South Nyanza.
“Elevating the hospital to level 5 will enable it to get Sh300 million yearly allocation for its improvement,” he said.
The governor asked the Ministry of Health to give his county a green light to conduct Covid-19 test at its ISO-certified laboratory.