COVID19:11 deaths and 156 new Covid cases as ministry says increase in infections expected in January

File image of health worker administering a COVID-19 test in Kenya. PHOTO| COURTESY

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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,1ST,JAN,2021-Kenya recorded 11 new Covid-19 cases on the first day of the new year, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced on Friday.

Another 156 people have tested positive for the virus out of a sample of 4,317.

This brings the total cases to 96,614.

The number of fatalities has risen to 1,681 with the 11 fatalities.

The cumulative tests are now 1,050,984.   From the cases 142 are Kenyans while

14 are foreigners. 96 are males and 60 females. The youngest is a seven-month-old infant while the oldest is 78.

Distribution  of  the  cases by counties is as follows;  Nairobi  57, Mombasa 23, Busia 15, Kiambu 13 Murang’a 9, Machakos 7, Nakuru 5, Uasin Gishu 4, Kajiado 4, Kitui 4, Nyeri 4, Trans Nzoia 3, Meru 2, Makueni 1, Kisumu 1, Nandi 1, Kwale 1 Embu 1 and Homabay 1.

During a press briefing at Afya House on Friday, Kagwe also announced the ministry has reached an agreement with clinical officers to call off their strike.

Another 65 patients have recovered from the disease,61 being from the home-based care programme,while four have been discharged from various hospitals.

The total recoveries now stand at 78,802.

Currently, there are 661  patients admitted in various health facilities countrywide and 2,960  on Home Based Isolation and care.   28 patients are in  Intensive care  Unit  (ICU),  14  of  whom are on ventilatory support, and  11  on supplemental oxygen. 3  are on observation.

Another 19 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen and 19 others are in the general wards. None is in HDU.

Meanwhile, Kagwe said a surge in Covid-19 cases can be expected in January.

“The reality is we can expect a bit of a surge in January, but hope it slows,” he said.

He also said Kenya has ordered vaccines which will not be mandatory.

Healthcare workers and police will be prioritised.

Kagwe said Kenya will not rely on the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, but is in negotiations with a China firm among others that have been approved.

On reopening on schools on Monday, Kagwe said masks are now part of uniform.

“When you are sending your child to school, a mask is part of it, and ideally, two reusable ones… the government will support those who are unable (to buy masks),” he said.

Kagwe said for classes that cannot cater for social distancing, learning will take place outside in playing fields.

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