Health ministry says Indian Covid-19 variant detected in Kenya

Dr Patrick Amoth

Ministry of Health acting Director General Patrick Amoth.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Indian Covid-19 variant has been detected in Kenya, Ministry of Health acting Director General Patrick Amoth has said.

Speaking on Wednesday during the daily coronavirus briefing, Dr Amoth said the Indian variant was reported in five Indians working at a fertiliser plant in Kisumu.

He said the cases were picked up on Thursday last week when the five arrived in the country before the ban on flights from India was imposed.

"We picked this from a sample of Indian travellers who are doing some work in the western part of Kisumu. We have gone ahead, together with the Kisumu County health team, to do contact tracing,” he said.

The results of the genome sequencing that is ongoing at the Kemri Walter Reed in Kisumu are expected in a week.

New infections

At the same time, the Health ministry reported 489 new infections from a sample of 4,426 collected in the last 24 hours.

This takes the total confirmed Covid-19 infections in Kenya to 161,393. The cumulative tests so far conducted are 1,692,532 with the positivity rate standing at 11 per cent.

From the 489 new cases, 449 are Kenyans while 40 are foreigners, with 266 being male and 223 being female. The youngest is a two-month-old-infant while the oldest is 102 years old.

At the same time, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Covid-19 recoveries have risen by 552 to 109,769. He said that 303 of the recovered patients were from various hospitals while 249 were from home-based care.

The Health CS also announced that 20 more people have succumbed to Covid-19, raising Kenya’s cumulative fatalities to 2,825.

He revealed that 11 deaths occurred on diverse dates within the last one month while nine were late death reports from various health facilities.


The Ministry of Health further said 1,164 patients had been hospitalised by Wednesday, with 153 of them being under intensive care. Of those in ICU, 28 were on ventilatory support, 99 on supplemental oxygen and 26 under observation.

Another 119 patients were separately on supplemental oxygen, 111 of them being in general wards and eight in high dependency units.

The number of patients in the home-based care programme stood at 6,603.

Nairobi County continues to lead in the number of new infections with 130 followed by Siaya 39, Nandi 37, Embu 35, Kisumu 33, Migori 33, Kakamega 24, Garissa 22, Kilifi 16, Bungoma 14, Kiambu 13, Nakuru 9, Machakos 9, Meru 9, Turkana 8, Kitui 7, Samburu 6, Makueni 6, Isiolo 5, Kajiado 4, Mombasa 4, Murang’a , Nyandarua, Nyeri and Vihiga 3 cases each, Kirinyaga, Marsabit, Homa Bay and West Pokot 2 cases each, Bomet, Busia, Kericho, Kisii, Laikipia and Wajir one case each.