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A public health official conducts public awareness in Nairobi's Mukuru kwa Njenga slum/FILE/MOH

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515 new COVID infections reported, positivity rate at 6.5pc

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – The Ministry of Health has reported 515 new COVID-19 infections raising the number of cases documented since March 2020 to 246,296

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, in a statement issued on Saturday, said the cases were detected from a sample size of 7,981 tested in the last 24 hours.

The country’s positivity rate stood at 6.5 per cent.

Kagwe said that a total of 15 patients succumbed to the virus, one of them within 24 hours while 14 were deaths picked from facility audits on diverse dates in August and September.

The new deaths pushed the fatalities reported since March 2020 when the virus was first detected in the country to 4,980.

Kagwe said a total of 1,444 patients were admitted in various health facilities across the country while 3,259 were under the home-based care.

The Health CS said that 114 patients were in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 83 of whom were on ventilatory support and 25 on supplemental oxygen. Another 6 patients were under observation.

He added that 634 patients were discharged after recovering from the virus bringing the total number of recoveries to 236,803.

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By September 17, a total of 3,337,913 vaccines had been administered across the country. The figure included 2,480,543 first doses and 857,370 fully vaccinated people.

Kagwe said that the uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose was reported at 34.6 per cent with the majority being males at 55 per cent. Females comprised 45 per cent of those vaccinated.

Kenya is now set to deploy five different types of vaccines after the fifth vaccine, Sinopharm, arrived from China on Saturday morning.

The China-made vaccine arrived in a batch comprising 200,000 vaccine doses with more expected to be acquired through the COVAX facility.

The arrival of the Sinopharm vaccines came just a day after the Pfizer vaccine from the United States arrived in the country, even as the government continued to ramp up efforts to attain its target to have at least 10 million adults vaccinated by December 2021.

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