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Cabinet Secretaries Mutahi Kagwe (Health) George Magoha and Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o during a visit of the county's main hospital on August 9, 2020.  

Capital Health

COVID-19 kills 17 more in Kenya as cases rise

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – COVID-19 fatalities rose further in Kenya Friday, when 17 more people succumbed to the virus even as the country recorded the highest infections on a single day.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 1,185 new cases had been detected on 9,851 samples tested since Thursday.

This raised infections in the country to 53,797 deaths now pushed up to 981.

“We will be consulting further, between now and Wednesday, when President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Council of Governors meet for a special summit, to determine and to agree, on a number of measures that we might have to take, in order to reduce the spread of the disease,” he said during a press briefing in Mombasa, signalling a possibility of enhanced restrictions which were lifted in August.

The deaths and infections recorded on Friday were the highest on a single day in the country since March when the pandemic broke out.

“The biggest fear is a situation where our health facilities can be overrun,” Kagwe said and announced the discharge of 272 patients who recovered from the disease.

He urged Kenyans to take public health containmnent measures seriously so as to defeat the disease.

“You cannot say you are not wearing a mask because the government has not given you one, we don’t see you walking naked because the government has not given you a shirt,” he said.

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The rising number of COVID-19 deaths and infections have caught the attention of President Uhuru Kenyatta who has convened the 6th Extraordinary session of the National and County Governments Summit on Wednesday next week to discuss find mitigating measures.

“The session shall consider the evolution of the disease as well as the epidemiological models on how COVID-19 may propagate within our country over the months of November and December 2020,” said Kanze Dena, State House Spokeswoman, “The Session shall also review the efficacy of the containment measures in place, as well as the impact of the easing of the restrictions that were in place.”

Kenya lifted tough restrictions in August, when the airspace was opened for international passengers.

Other measures relaxed include re-opening bars and restaurants which had remained closed since March and allowing places of worship to resume services.

A night curfew was also extended from 9pm to start at 11 am to 4am.

On Wednesday, Dena said the summit to be chaired by President Kenyatta will also seek to assess how infections are likely to be in the festive months of November through to December.

“Kenyans should continue to wear facemasks correctly while in public spaces, apply correct hand hygiene at all times, and adhere with the physical and social distancing guidelines and protocols that have been put in place to safeguard our individual and collective health and safety,” the dispatch from State House said.

The Ministry of Health has attributed the rising numbers to the increased number of political activities- where little or no precautionary measures are observed.

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