NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 2 – Kenya is facing a serious challenge in testing COVID-19 due to a shortage of reagents.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government is still trying to get the reagents so as to increase the testing capacity. He said the Gene expert machines used in testing COVID-19 are American-made and the reagents must come from there.
“This is a big challenge we are facing and we are still trying to get these reagents,” Kagwe said Wednesday, during a session with Parliament’s Health Committee, “The machines we are using are from America and since the US has placed an embargo on exports of reagents because due the problem they are also facing with COVID-19, we are now forced to do manual tests.”
And due to lack of reagents, the Ministry of Health has been carrying out low number of tests which in turn records low numbers.
On Tuesday, the Ministry said, 178 cases were detected from 3,474 samples raising the number of infections in the country to 34,493.
The low number of infections had widely given an impression that Kenya’s COVID-19 curve was flattening, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning against lowering the guard.
On Wednesday, Kagwe said 238 patients had been discharged among them 187 from the home-based care and 51 from various health facilities. This adds up to 20,449 recoveries in the country so far.
Fatalities in the country also rose to 581 after 4 more patients succumbed.