NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9- The Ministry of Health has reported 17 new COVID-19 deaths that occurred in the last one month, pushing fatalities in the country to 2,309.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 1,605 more patients were admitted in various hospitals across the country among them 236 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Kagwe further said that 1,091 people tested positive for the virus from a sample size of 7,300 raising the total caseload to 144,154.
A two-month old infant and a granny aged 100 were among the new cases.
Kagwe said that 422,021 people had been vaccinated by April 9 among them 110,523 health care workers, 34,150 security officers, 59,906 teachers and 217,442 other citizens including those above 58 years of age.
In terms of gender, 238, 522 males have been vaccinated while 183,499 females have also received the jab.
On Thursday, Mo Ibrahim Foundation raised concern that there will be no end in sight in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis if Africa’s population is left out in the fight against the virus, especially in the global vaccination drive.
The organization founded by Sudanese businessman Mo Ibrahim noted that if ignored, the continent would provide room for the virus to continue to spread and mutate subsequently becoming the perfect incubator for COVID-19 variants.
It also decried Africa’s lack of involvement in the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and lack of leaders’ commitment to mobilize resources to fight the pandemic.
As of April 8, the continent had reported 3.1 million coronavirus cases including 78,500 people who had succumbed .The continent’s death rate stands at 2.5 percent higher than the 2.2 percent global rate.
“It would be a fatal mistake to consider that the pandemic there is less severe, and thus “Africa can wait. We are still running far behind what is needed to ensure safety in Africa. Across the continent, vaccine accessibility is not only far below the efficacy threshold of 60% of the population,” the foundation said in a statement this week.
Globally, advances have been made in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, all produced outside Africa which depends on donations, supplies from the COVAX facility, and bilateral agreements.
The World Health Organization (WHO) noted as of 18 February 2021 that at least seven different vaccines across three platforms had been rolled out in countries with more than 200 additional vaccine candidates in development, of which more than 60 are in clinical development
With a population of 1.2 billion, only 23.6 million vaccines have been distributed (as of March 15) in Africa including 16 million supplied by COVAX and the rest supplied by donations, bilateral agreements.
“This is barely 0.5 percent of current global vaccine distribution, while the continent represents more than 17 percent of the global population,” the foundation which was established in 2006 to promote Africa’ transformation noted.
10 African countries have remained out of the supply system.
On the other hand, countries like China with a population of 1.43 billion have inoculated 65 million of its citizens, more than 31 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine while in the United States of America, about 110 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
China is already shipping some of its vaccines to African countries, with Kenya recently accusing the UK and other vaccine producing countries of practicing what it termed as “vaccine apartheid.’