NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – Kenya’s COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 10.1 percent Friday after 646 people tested positive for the disease.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the new cases were detected from a sample size of 6,429, raising the total caseload to 181,885.
Kagwe said 1,017 patients were admitted to various health facilities countrywide, including 102 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Kagwe said there were 18 new deaths from the virus, 17 of which were registered from facility record audits for May and June.
This pushed fatalities to 3,556.
391 patients were discharged after recovering from the disease raising recoveries to 123,853.
Over 1.2 million people had been vaccinated against the virus by June 24.
On Friday, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) expressed concern over the slow progress by the health ministry in sourcing for and administering coronavirus vaccines.
KMPDU Secretary-General Davji Bhimji who addressed the press in Murang’a warned the COVID-19 crisis in the country could worsen if the national vaccination campaign fails to yield desired results.
“It is quite shameful that less than one percent of Kenyans and less than 0.3 percent of health workers have been vaccinated, this is happening because the government is over-reliance on charities and donations, there is a need for government to budget and buy vaccines for Kenyans and health workers,” he said.
Kenya has barely made progress towards attaining herd immunity, the only hope to contain and defeat COVID-19, with statistics from the Ministry of Health indicating only 0.86 percent of the adult population had been fully vaccinated.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has not indicated the specific proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity, developed nations have adopted targets above 70 per cent.
The United States of America and China set 70 per cent and 80 per cent targets to help their populations and economies cope with the pandemic.
“To safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a substantial proportion of a population would need to be vaccinated, lowering the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population. One of the aims with working towards herd immunity is to keep vulnerable groups who cannot get vaccinated,” an advisory by WHO indicates.
The country expects to receive an undisclosed number of doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the United States government by the end of June 2021.
The majority of African countries received their vaccines under the Covax scheme, and they were largely sourced from the Serum Institute of India.
When India stopped vaccine exports in response to its own urgent needs, manufacturers faced challenges in hastening production.
WHO had indicated in its projections that Africa needed 200 million doses to vaccinate 10 per cent of its population by September 2021.