Kenya

Covid in Kenya: Counties with slow uptake to return vaccines

Covid in Kenya: Counties with slow uptake to return vaccines

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses a press conference during the opening of a high dependency maternity and new born unit at the Othaya-KNH hospital annex in Nyeri County on May 7, 2021.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

The Ministry of Health will recall vaccines from counties with a slow uptake and redistribute them to prevent expiry and wastage.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced this on Friday, saying at least 200,000 doses remained unused across the country.

"We are going to take back vaccines that are lying idle in counties due to slow uptake and distribution. We cannot afford to have the jabs expire in our stores," he said, adding they will be dispatched to other counties.

So far, CS Kagwe said, 911, 115 vaccines have been given, out of the 1.2 million received in February.

Among those vaccinated are at least 531,540 people aged 58 years and above, 160,468 health workers, 142,624 teachers and 76,578 security officers.

Workers who operate in learning institutions have also been vaccinated, as the country prepares for the reopening of schools following the lifting of some Covid-19 restrictions.

Read: Private schools defy State on Grade Four reopening

Also read: In US, children return to school -- but so do the guns

Positivity rate down

The ministry also announced that the country’s positivity rate stood at 6.3 per cent, but urged sustained adherence to measures for containing the spread of the virus, CS Kagwe emphasising that “we are not out of the woods yet”.

"If we continue following the protocols from the Ministry of Health, there will be light at the end of the tunnel," he said in Nyeri after opening a high dependency maternity and newborn unit at the Othaya-KNH Annex Hospital.

CS Kagwe reported 568 new infections from a sample of 9,029 tested in the last 24 hours, which raised the number of confirmed cases in Kenya to 162,666 and the number of tests carried out so far to 1,710,414.

Of these new patients, 551 were Kenyans and 17 foreigners, 344 mal and 224 female, the youngest one year old and the oldest 105.

Nairobi County accounted for 142 of the infections, Mombasa 38, Kisii 33, Kericho 30, Nyeri 28, Taita Taveta 27, Nakuru 24, Uasin Gishu 22, Tharaka Nithi 19, Kisumu 17, Kiambu 15, Kakamega and Siaya 13 each and Meru 10.

Kajiado and Kitui followed with nine cases each, Marsabit and Nandi eight each, Homa Bay six, Garissa five, Embu four, Murang’a, Trans Nzoia, Machakos and Samburu three each, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, Makueni, Migori, Narok, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Turkana and West Pokot two each, and Bungoma, Vihiga, Busia and Kwale one each.

Death toll

Kenya’s Covid-19 death toll on Friday increased by 15 to 2,865. The ministry explained that five of the deaths occurred within the last one month while 10 were late reports confirmed during the audit of facility records.

The number of recoveries grew by 173 to 110,653, Mr Kagwe said, adding that 130 of the patients were under the home-based care programme while 43 were treated in hospital.

As of Friday, at least 1, 086 patients had been hospitalised across the country while 6,381 patients were being treated at home. Of those in hospital, 131 were under intensive care, 28 of them on ventilator support, 83 on supplementary oxygen and 20 under observation.

Another 111 patients were separately on supplemental oxygen, 103 of them in general wards and eight in high dependency units (HDU).

Variants

The CS also addressed the matter of variants, saying that besides the Indian one that is highly contagious, the British variant is also present in the country.

"The most dominant variant in Kenya is the British variant … people must follow what they are being told," he said.

"Now that the variant is here, we must continue to be vigilant to keep the variant at bay … this is our new way of life," the minister added.

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