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Kenya experienced the third wave of COVID in February 2021 to May 2021./FILE.

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COVID-19 positivity rate slows to 10pc in Kenya as 18 deaths recorded

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18- Kenya on Sunday recorded 18 new COVID-19 deaths raising fatalities to 2,481 even as the positivity rate slowed to 10pc.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the new fatalities include 1 that occurred on Saturday and others last month that were only detected after an audit.

Kagwe said 1,620 more patients were admitted to various health facilities including 254 who were in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Kagwe said that 366 more people tested positive for the virus from a sample size of 3,664 raising the total caseload to 151,653.

Th positivity rate stood at 10 percent the lowest to have been reported in the last two months.

280 patients were discharged after they recovered from the virus among them 207 from Home Based Care and 73 from various hospitals across the country.

Total recoveries stood at 101,642 by April 18, 2021.

 Kenya kicked off the vaccination drive in February with AstraZeneca, after acquiring the initial 1.02 million doses through the COVAX facility.

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So far, over 651,650 people have received the COVID-19 jab in the country, more than a month after the exercise kicked off.

 Those aged above 58 years constitute the bulk of those who have received the jab with 365,178 of those within the age bracket already vaccinated. 

 136,084 of those vaccinated are Healthcare workers, 97,786 are teachers while 52,602 are Security Officers.

 Men continue to exhibit greater enthusiasm than women in being vaccinated against Covid-19 constituting 56 per cent of those vaccinated.

The National Taskforce on Vaccine Deployment and Vaccinations on Sunday urged medics to strictly follow rules on vaccine use, in a bid to avoid unnecessary wastage.

 According to the taskforce, once a half-used vial of vaccine reaches the discard time, the remaining doses will be discarded and recorded as wastage.

 In a statement, the taskforce said the wastage is monitored on daily basis.

 “While the manufacturer does not assure an extra dose for every vial, the high demand of the vaccine means that these extra doses can be used to vaccinate more eligible people. In practice however, the health workers do not ‘pool’ extra doses from other vials, in order to ensure safety guidelines are adhered to,” the taskforce said.

 The country is targeting an average wastage rate of 10 per cent or less to cater for both areas with low wastage and those with high wastage.

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 “As such, should a half-used vial of vaccine reach the discard time, the remaining doses will be discarded and recorded as wastage. This wastage is monitored on daily basis,” the taskforce said.

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