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New analysis on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows it increases immune responses to Beta, Delta, Alpha and Gamma SARS-CoV-2 variants as a booster shot. /CFM

Capital Health

Kenya records 494 new COVID-19 cases

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Kenya on Thursday reported 494 new COVID-19 cases from a sample size of 6,428 pushing total caseload to 166,876.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said among the new cases, 418 are Kenyans while 18 are foreigners.

The country’s positivity rate stood at 7.7 percent.  

The CS further announced that 5 more patients had succumbed to the virus among them, 2 which occurred on Wednesday and 3 which were reported late.

Total fatalities stood at 3,040 by May 20.
50 patients were discharged after recovering from the virus raising recoveries to 114,285 while 948,980 persons had been vaccinated against the virus, the health ministry said.

Kagwe said the government was facing challenges sourcing more vaccine doses from India which is experiencing the worst strain that has killed thousands and infected many more.

The CS said the government was working to acquire alternatives from Pfizer and Johnson with reports showing Kenya also hopes to get vaccines from China.

The Ministry had earlier pointed out that it was expecting to receive 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from  neighboring countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo where there is no capacity to administer vaccine doses before they expire in June this year.

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In a series of tweets on its twitter handle, the Ministry said there were about 100,000 doses left from the 1.12 million doses which were acquired in March this year for vaccination against COVID-19.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta proposed several new approaches to financing of Africa’s Covid-19 recovery efforts saying the private sector should be supported to play a more central role.

Alongside private sector participation, the President advocated for enhanced recovery packages from Africa’s development partners, debt swaps and restructuring, and accelerated access to alternative sources of financing such as the Green Climate Fund.

 “Innovative financing solutions that crowd in the private sector, these would include the issuance of private sector-backed financial instruments such as green bonds, supporting the issuance of local currency instruments, structuring guarantees to lower financing costs; and, developing and deepening public-private partnership opportunities,” the President proposed.

“We need to move beyond traditional measures and implement truly transformational financing options that are commensurate with the enormity of the crisis,” he added.

President Kenyatta spoke Tuesday at State House, Nairobi in his virtual address to the summit on financing of African economies hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France, and attended by several leaders among them President Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo who is also the current Chairperson of the African Union.

At the same time, the Head of State emphasized the need to upscale African countries access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“With regard to access to vaccines, we talk about economic recovery but there can’t be any recovery without access to vaccine and Africa is desperately lacking in vaccines,” President Kenyatta said.

He said Kenya will continue opening up its vibrant economy for private sector participation saying the country had strengthened its Public Private Partnership (PPP) regime.

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“We commit to augment our limited fiscal space by revitalizing Public Private Partnership (PPP). In Kenya, we have put measures in place to leverage on PPPs to provide greater operational efficiency and reduce pressure on fiscal space,” he said.

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