NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 1 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned Kenya against relaxing COVID-19 regulations due to the low number of infections registered lately.
The global health body said whereas the positivity rate is indicative that the pandemic could be declining, it underscored that the rate can only be adequately interpreted with comprehensive surveillance and testing of suspected cases.
Kenya has been registering low COVID-19 infections consistently since last month, in what President Uhuru Kenyatta described as remarkable progress in flattening the curve.
“While the decline is a welcome trend, it is important to interrogate if this is an indication of country’s true flattening of the curve and how well it represents the national picture of the overall Covid-19 status,” WHO said in a statement.
For surety purposes to ascertain that indeed the COVID-19 curve is on the path of being flattened, WHO insists that its criteria for health authorities and decision-makers to determine the level of epidemic control should be followed.
The parameters are grouped into three namely: epidemiology that checks if the epidemic has been controlled, health systems on whether they are able to cope with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases that may arise after adapting some measures and the public health surveillance that focusses on the country being able to detect and manage the cases and their contacts, and identify a resurgence of cases.
It further noted that containment or decline of such a pandemic is registered on the basis and emphasis of the length of period consistent decline has been registered – at least 50% and over a three-week period since the latest peak and with a continuous decline.
“Positivity rate has to be less than 5% over two weeks but with comprehensive and widespread laboratory testing surveillance,” it said.
Kenya had recorded 34,201 COVID-19 cases, 19,893 recoveries and 577 fatalities by August 31.
The Education Ministry is already mulling on how to re-open schools with Cabinet Secretary George Magoha noting learners might resume learning later this year. Schools in the country were closed in March when the first case was detected.