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The COVID-19 positivity rate was reported at 10.2 percent compared to a two-day average of 10.4 per cent/FILE

Capital Health

Study suggests Nairobi COVID-19 infections peaked in July

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 6 – A preprint published on the MedRxiv medical journal on Thursday, September 3, suggests COVID-19 infections in Nairobi and Mombasa peaked on July 10 and May 31 respectively.

The report co-authored by among others, Health Chief Administrative Secretaries Mercy Mwangangi and Rashid Aman indicates confidence intervals for peaks in the two cities occurred between July 2nd and July 19th, and May 25th to June 15th.

“We find that the rate of new infections peaked on May 31st 2020 (CI May 25th – June 15th) in Mombasa and July 10th 2020 (CI July 2nd – July 19th) in Nairobi, and is now declining,” the report titled Revealing the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya based on serological and PCR-test data states.

As of March, the study noted that the reproductive ratio which is the number of infections emanating from the primary case was 2.23 and 2.01 in Mombasa and Nairobi respectively.

The reproduction rate declined significantly in April to 1.18 and 1.04 in Mombasa and Nairobi respectively.

The number of days it took for reported infections to double in Mombasa and Nairobi, otherwise known as doubling time, increased to twenty-eight and ninety-four in Mombasa and Nairobi in April, compared to four and five in March.

The study attributed the change to the introduction of containment measures by the government as evidenced by substantial reduction in mobility.

The study clarified that the projections are based on an assumption that the PCR testing rate in Kenya is either increasing or flat in each county.

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“If the testing rate declines then we expect the rate of PCR positive tests to decline even more steeply than predicted in this study,” it added.

The new medical research further said that there may be an increase in transmission if population mobility rises.

“If population mixing patterns alter leading to changed risk heterogeneity or if immunity is short lived, leading to a rebound in reported cases. It is possible that non antibody mechanisms of immunity also contribute to apparent herd immunity at low serological prevalence,” the study noted.

As of September 9th, COVID-19 cases documented since March had risen 35,020 while the number of recoveries stood 21,158.

The country’s death toll stood at 594 representing a case fatality rate of 1.7 per cent.

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