Kenya reported another record low of 22 new Covid-19 cases on Monday but said the patients were found after the analysis of just 595 samples in the last 24 hours. This raised the country’s total number of declared infections to 39,449.
The Health ministry has said in the past that Kenya’s counts are affected by an inefficiency in testing and a manual system of submitting figures from different parts of the country, meaning what is announced “in the last 24 hours” is not always the actual representation of the figures for that period.
Health Services acting Director-General Patrick Amoth said so on September 26, while discussing a rising death toll, which he said was not as worrying as the possibility of a second wave of infections.
“Some of the deaths were not recorded in the last 24 hours since counties are very slow in remitting data to the Ministry of health. They are using the manual system to transfer the data so it takes days to get it,” he said at the time.
At the daily briefing on Monday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported that the number of recoveries had increased by 376 to 27,035 and that 360 of those patients were in the home-based care programme and the rest in hospitals.
CAS Aman said the death toll had risen by four to 735 and that the number of samples tested in the country, since the first case was reported on March 13, had reached 564,078.
He further reported that so far, 1,029 health workers across the country have contracted the virus and that the death toll in the sector stands at 16.
Overall, Nairobi remained in the lead with 20,971 confirmed Covid-19 cases and was followed by Mombasa with 2,969, Kiambu with 2,776, Kajiado with 1,981 and Machakos with 1,340.
Then came Nakuru with 1,246, Busia with 1,246, Kisumu with 630, Uasin Gishu with 628 and Migori with 463.
Elgero Marakwet remained the county with the least number of cases – just 12. West Pokot has recorded 21 cases so far, Marsabit 24, Tana River 25, Mandera 29 and Nyamira 30.
“Nairobi and Mombasa continue to record the highest attack rates of 476.9 and 245.7 per cent per 100,000 population, respectively, compared to the national average of 82.9,” Dr Aman said.
Of the 22 new patients, 18 were in Nairobi, two in Meru and one each in Nakuru and Kiambu. Only one was a foreigner whereas the youngest was 18 years old and the oldest 65.
Fifteen were male and seven female.
Dr Aman noted that data by the Health ministry shows 98 per cent of all of the country’s cases were transmitted locally.
“This means almost [all the cases were] as a result of the spread in our homes, estates, markets and other public places,” he said.
He added that a recent trend has been that of a higher number of infections in counties that had few cases, these being Nakuru, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi.
Stating that the disease is “mysterious and unique”, Dr Aman said medical experts and modelling teams are studying patterns that will guide decisions by the ministry on how to fight the pandemic.
Kenyan scientists are also researching a vaccine and taking part in global efforts to find one.