Government sounds alarm over spike in COVID-19 in 13 hotspot counties
The Ministry of Health intensified surveillance in 13 counties marked as red zones, that have over the past few weeks recorded a worrying increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths.
The government has been forced to roll out additional restrictions, including banning congregational worship and reviewing the curfew orders.
“When we look at the numbers in the 13 counties particularly comparing it with the 47 counties, one key thing that is worrying us is that the attack rate which is the measure of the new cases has almost gone up 15-fold in these counties,” Dr Mercy Mwangangi said on Monday.
On Monday, the Ministry of Health is sounded yet another alarm, genomic sequencing conducted on the latest infections in the 13 counties had shown an increase in the delta variant also known as the Indian variant.
“We have our labs there particularly KEMRI which is picking samples so that we can establish the number of delta variant cases that may be there and what is of concern and of importance to those who resides in the 13 counties is that we have picked the delta variant, and we need to adhere to the measures because we want to stop community transmission,” she added.
After a meeting with the Interfaith council amidst protests by religious leaders from the 13 counties following the ban on congregational worship, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi who held the brief on behalf of the National Emergency Response Committee said they were monitoring the situation and when the infections rate lowered the restrictions would be reviewed.
“We are keen on worship, and we want to relook at these measures and see how best we can go forward tased on the advice of Mo aHnd how fast we can resume worship in the 13 counties even as we follow the advice given… archbishop anthony muheria – chair, interfaith council…we ask our religious leaders patiently to continue following these measures that have been given as we look at what we are able to accommodate and as we know there is always the line of live-streaming,” CS Matiangi said.
Despite the call for caution, it was business as usual today at the Daraja Mbili market in Kisii county, the second-largest market in Nyanza Region.
“Nikiambia wakubwa wetu watuwekee maji ya kunawisha mkono na sabuni ili tukikeep distance tupate tuko na maji ya kunawa tukishika pesa tukuwe na sanitizer,” Martha Nyakundi, a trader at Daraja Mbili market told Citizen TV.
The traders here have seemingly thrown caution to the wind, masks were worn inappropriately and there was no social distancing…the markets’ leadership seemingly giving up on controlling spaces in this crowded open air market.
The Ministry of Health on Monday temporarily halted a planned KNUT’s delegates meeting that was set to bring together 1,878 delegates where new officials would be elected.
In its letter the ministry attributed the cancellation to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country which was yet to go down, instead advising KNUT to adopt a hybrid conference module to carry out its meeting…
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 case load in the country hit the 179,293 mark as 218 new cases were recorded, marking an 8.5 percent positivity rate.
Nairobi continued to lead in county infections with 119, Siaya with 26, Kisii 20, Uasin Gishu 15 and Homabay 10.
15 other counties recorded between 1 and 6 cases.
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