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Health officials dressed in hazmat suits while handling the coffin bearing remains of a patient who succumbed to COVID-19 in May. The health ministry said health officials will no longer be dressed in full personal protective gear while conducting burial ceremonies of COVID-19 victims/FILE

Capital Health

Puzzle of increased COVID-19 deaths in Kenya as cases decline

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 14 – Kenya has recorded an increase in COVID-19 fatalities since last week, even as the number of new infections appears to sustain a decline.

Since Monday, the country recorded at least 10 deaths daily, in what has remained a puzzle to public health officials.

10 more patients succumbed to the virus on Wednesday, raising the death toll from the virus in the country to 797.

On Tuesday, 10 other patients succumbed, with 11 having died the previous day.

604 more people tested positive for the virus Wednesday, raising the country’s caseload to 42,541.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government had tested 5,832 samples taking the cumulative tests to 601,623.

“From the cases, 583 are Kenyans and 21 are foreigners. The youngest is a five-month-old infant while the oldest is 94,” he said.

Kagwe said 88 people were recovered from the virus where 56 were from home-based programme while 32 have been discharged from various hospitals.

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By October 14, the total recoveries in the country stood at at 31,428.

On Tuesday, Dr Rashid Aman, the Health Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary warned that “We are not out of trouble yet.”

He appealed to Kenyans to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, including schools which reopened Monday.

Schools in the country were closed in March when the first virus case was detected.

“Now more than ever we must not lower our guard and I appeal to Kenyans to continue adhering to the measures put in place,” he said. The new cases were confirmed from 2,592 samples tested since Monday.

Aman was categorical that the government would not shy away from closing schools again if the number of COVID-19 cases in the country surges.

“We hope that we do not get there but the government will take the necessary action if the situation changes,” he said, and stressed that government will continue to monitor and assess the situation in schools particularly those with high populations.

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