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Kagwe says Kenya has made tremendous progress in war against COVID-19, but more need to be done

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13- Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe now says that the country’s COVID-19 fatality rate has significantly dropped to a lower rate than the global average due to intervention by the government.

The country’s fatality rate is currently under 2 percent.

Speaking exclusively to Capital FM on Wednesday, Kagwe said although the country is not out of the wood yet, the fight against the virus has been tremendous as COVID-19 positivity rate has remained low in the last few months and under 5 percent in the past week.

“We are doing well but we are not out of the woods yet. We have had a significant drop in positivity rate and in the hospitalization rate which is the best thing and in addition to that, we have also lowered our fatality rate which is also a very important figure to consider because generally speaking it is lower than the global rate,” said Kagwe.

Kagwe attributed this drop to adherence to the COVID-19 protocols by Kenyans and health workers’ dedication to combat the spread of the virus.

“When you look at our statistics, obviously there is a difference and I think that difference was brought about by the dedication and commitment of our health workers but also decisions that were made at the top leadership especially by President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said, “In  addition to that, people have learned about the virus and if you look at the crowded places, people are generally adhering to the measures that we have given in order for us to mitigate the virus and ensure Kenyans stay safe.”

Capital FM’s Njoki Kihiu with Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe during an interview in his office at Afya House on October 13, 2021./ SAMUEL WANJOHI

Kagwe however, urged Kenyans to be patient and continue following COVID-19 containment measures saying full reopening of the economy will depend on how the pandemic situation continues to unfold.

The CS admitted that he knows Kenyans are tired of the curfew but maintained that such measures will be reviewed after the COVID-19 positivity rate remains low and for a longer period.

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“I am tired too and I am a Kenyan and I want to get back to normal life but it will take  a while to get back to what we call normal life because even after opening the economy, things like wearing of masks and social distancing will remain. However, it is our intention as a government that as soon as we have consistently stayed the positivity rate that we are in now, we will be able to make significant changes,” said Kagwe.

He however, commended Kenyans for willingly getting vaccinated against the virus pointing out that the figures are impressive and encouraged those who are yet to get the jab to do so.

On October 4, the Government extended the nationwide curfew for 30 days to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic amid outcry by Kenyans to lift it.

The announcement was made by Kagwe who said the decision was informed by the fact that the country’s positivity rate is still above the World Health Organization recommended rate.

He reiterated that that the rest of the containment measures including mandatory wearing of masks were also in force.

The curfew which runs from 10pm to 4am has been in force for one and half years.

By October 12, over 4.2 million people had been vaccinated including over 1 million who were fully vaccinated.

The country had recorded a total of 5,195 deaths since the virus struck in March last year while 251,313 infections had been registered.

244,433 patients had also recovered from the virus and discharged.

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