What you need to know:
- Another 81 patients have been discharged after recovering from the disease.
- Dr Amoth said that in case of a new wave, Kenya is prepared to handle it.
- He said Kenya has signed up with global health partners in the quest to find a vaccine for Covid-19.
Five more patients have succumbed to Covid-19, raising Kenya’s death toll to 669 since the first case of the viral disease was recorded in March this year.
Making the announcement on Thursday at the Thika Level Five Hospital in Kiambu County, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi also said that 141 people had tested positive in the last 24 hours. This followed the testing of 3,307 samples, bringing the national tally of confirmed cases to 37,489.
Another 81 people recovered from the viral disease over the same period, bringing total recoveries to 24,334.
Speaking during the same briefing, acting Health Director-General Patrick Amoth said that Kenya has started to flatten the Covid-19 curve but warned that it is too early to celebrate. He said Kenyans should be on the alert for the next wave of Covid-19.
Dr Amoth said that in case of a new wave, Kenya is prepared to handle it, having put the right health infrastructure in place.
He said Kenya has signed up with global health partners in the quest to find a vaccine for Covid-19. He revealed that the vaccine might be available locally by June next year if things go as planned.
He also said that Kenya is among countries which have pooled a total of USD 35 million for Covid-19 vaccine research.
If vaccine is found, he said, it will first be made available to health workers and other vulnerable people before the rest of Kenyans can access it.
Dr Amoth further said that Kenya’s Covid-19 mortality rate stands at 1.8 per cent with 93 per cent of patients being asymptomatic.
Speaking at the same event, Kiambu Governor James Nyoro said the county has embarked on testing 100 people daily, having entered into a partnership with a local health research firm with results being available in 24 hours.
He said Tigoni Level 4 Hospital, which was turned into a Covid-19 isolation centre, now has 300 beds. He said the target is to have 850 beds in both Tigoni and Thika Level 5 hospitals.
During the briefing, the Ministry of Health said it has identified 20,000 households from Kiambu whose National Hospital Insurance Fund subscription will be paid for by the government. Most of the beneficiaries will be those from poor backgrounds.