Kenya on Saturday recorded its highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, raising the total number of confirmed cases since March 13 to 435.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi (CAS) announced 24 new cases of Covid-19 following the testing of 1,195 samples in the last 24 hours.
Dr Mwangangi noted that seven of these cases were recorded in Kawangware, Nairobi, whose count increased to 20, following mass testing that began on Friday.
The ministry said 12 of Kawangware’s cases were traced to one person who used to work at an emergency care centre.
She said 10 of the new patients were from Eastleigh in Nairobi, whose total number of cases rose to 21, five from Mombasa and two from Kuria West in Migori County.
In Mombasa, the total number of confirmed cases rose to 129, with two of the new cases being from Mikindani, another two from Mwembe Tayari and one from Shimanzi.
Migori’s patients had a history of travel to Tanzania, which had 480 cases and 16 deaths as of May 2.
The CAS also announced that one more person had died in Mombasa, raising the country’s death toll to 22.
The 51-year-old woman was admitted on April 27 and had a pre-existing condition.
The ministry further reported that two more patients had been discharged, raising the total number of recoveries to 152.
Ten of the 24 new patients were male and 14 female.
In terms of age, CAS Mwangangi said four of the new patients were aged 1 to 19 years, 14 were aged 20 to 39 years and six between 40 and 60 years.
She said 214 patients were in isolation, with only one in a critical state.
While warning that the disease was spreading quickly among communities, the ministry asked Kenyans to take seriously all the measures the government has put in place.
She said random checks revealed that many people were not wearing their face masks properly and were not observing social distancing yet this remains a key measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
She also said the ministry was worried about a return to high human and vehicle traffic, especially in the Nairobi central business district, and that employees were increasingly returning to work despite the government’s appeal for them to work from home.
Among the measures the government has taken are a ban of movement into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Mandera, Kilifi and Kwale counties, as well as Dadaab and Kakuma camps.
“If we do not adhere to containment measures, the disease is bound to spread faster,” the CAS said, adding the ministry was looking into a system that would allow quarantining at home due to the large numbers of patients.
Health Director-General Patrick Amoth added that the ministry was considering a new drug – Remdesivir – which is being used in the United States in small percentages.
Dr Amoth also said that the ministry would continue its pursuit for other drugs used in other countries.
In Africa, the coronavirus had infected at least 41,677 and killed over 1,697, according to case tracker Worldometer’s count on May 2.
Since the first case was reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019, at least 3,417,903 people worldwide had been infected by May 2.
The total number of deaths worldwide was 239,920 and that of recoveries at 1,089,192.
The number of active cases stood at 2,088,791, with two per cent or 51,217 of them being critical and the rest mild, a figure lower than April 30’s.
Worldometer’s count showed that the number of closed cases was 1,329,112, with 82 per cent or 1,089,192 being the number of recoveries or those discharged.