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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. /FILE

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Kagwe warns of second wave as COVID infections and deaths surge

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 18 – Kenya is staring at the second wave of COVID-19, weeks after lifting tough restrictions that were imposed in March to tame the rising numbers.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Sunday that the country was headed to tough times, signalled by the rise in new infections and a sharp rise in COVID-19 deaths.

“We are headed to tough times ahead,” he told a news conference on Sunday when he announced 685 new cases and seven deaths, “the second wave is coming judging from the increase in new infections and deaths.” The new cases were detected from 4,912 samples.

Kenya had recorded 832 fatalities and 44,881 infections by October 18.

He said it was unfortunate that Kenyans, including politicians, had dropped the guard.

“We have seen Kenyans all over walking without masks, and politicians holding huge rallies,” he said, “this is dangerous and can get us into more trouble.”

Kenya lifted tough COVID-19 restrictions last month, opening bars, schools and churches after infections cases declined but the country has recorded a sharp increase in since the beginning of October, with a daily fatality rate of at least 10 people.

“We are increasingly worried because now we have 28 patients in ICU,” he said, “we must get back to taking this disease serious and know that it is not gone yet.”

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There have been heightened political activities in the country since last month by top politicians, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and Opposition chief Raila Odinga who have been holding huge meetings in various parts of the country.

And with the release of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report expected this week, Kenya is most likely headed into more political frenzy raising fears of more infections even as the Health Ministry warned of a second wave.

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