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COVID positivity rate at 10.7pc with lake region maintaining surge

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – The country’s COVID-19 positivity rate on Thursday rose to 10.7 per cent after 660 people tested positive to the disease, from 6,176 samples tested in 24 hours.

The total number of confirmed cases since March 2020 stood at 177,282.

The Ministry of Health said Siaya county led with 123 cases, followed by Kisumu with 102 cases, Nairobi (78), Busia (68) and Homa Bay (49).

A total of 812 patients also recovered from the disease, raising total recoveries to 122,018.

The number of COVID fatalities stood at 3,434 after 6 patients succumbed to the disease, including 5 late death reports from facility record audits.

The ministry said a total of 1,059 COVID patients were admitted in various health facilities, while 4,812 patients were on home based care.

The government on Thursday revised curfew hours to begin from 7pm to 4am in thirteen lake region counties declared virus-hotspots.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the counties of Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Kericho, Bomet, Bungoma, Trans-Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa-Bay and Migori accounted for 60 per cent of national virus caseload in two weeks, hence the reason to declare them hotspot zones.

“The positivity rate in the aforementioned counties averages 21 per cent against a national average of 9 per cent,” he noted.

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Kagwe said their proximity to the neighboring Uganda which has been registering a spike in cases contributed to the surge in infections.

He also announced a ban on all forms of gatherings and in-person meetings in the hotspot zone, including house parties and sporting activities.

The ban will also apply to all forms of physical/congregational worship (churches, mosques, temples and shrines) in the hotspot counties for a period of 30 days.

Kagwe however said the ongoing nationwide curfew shall continue to be observed in the rest of the country, from 10 pm to 4am daily.

Funeral and interment ceremonies in the hot spot zone shall be conducted within 72 hours of confirmation of death, with night vigils and overnight processions prior to funerals also prohibited.

The number of attendees for funeral in the hotspot zone was capped to 50.

The new directives were expected to take effect from June 18, 2021.


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