What you need to know:
- The coronavirus death toll now stands at 787.
- Although the Health ministry has not commented on the fatality rate, the increasing numbers continue to puzzle experts.
- It is only 10 per cent of the global population that has developed immunity against the SARS-CoV-2.
As the number of Covid-19 cases continue to fluctuate, the deaths have remained constant, with the country recording 10 fatalities Tuesday.
The coronavirus death toll now stands at 787.
The country recorded 11 deaths on Monday and five on Sunday.
Although the Health ministry has not commented on the fatality rate, the increasing numbers continue to puzzle experts.
Tuesday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said cases of re-infection of Covid-19 patients had been reported in the country.
He, however, ruled out the possibility of imposing herd immunity on Kenyans because of the reports of re-infections.
He said due to the novelty of the disease, ongoing epidemiological studies are yet to prove herd immunity as a workable measure.
“We are not sure if this immunity lasts long enough to protect someone from Covid-19,” he said.
With cases of re-infections being reported around the globe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against banking on herd immunity to fight the pandemic.
While addressing the media on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it is not only “unethical” but also “not an option” and that countries should endeavour to defeat the virus.
He warned against exposing people to the virus so they can develop immunity, saying herd immunity can only be attained by protecting people against the virus and not exposing them.
“Herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached,” he said, adding that it has never been used as a strategy to responding to an outbreak.
According to experts, Covid-19 herd immunity can be attained when 60 to 70 per cent of the population has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies. But re-infections are being reported, complicating everything.
In the history of pandemics, only vaccines have been known to control transmissions.
For example, it is estimated that herd immunity for measles is attained when 95 per cent of the population has been vaccinated. To achieve herd immunity for polio, 80 per cent of the population must be vaccinated.
But it is only 10 per cent of the global population that has developed immunity against the SARS-CoV-2, according to WHO estimates, meaning that 90 per cent of the world population is susceptible.
“Letting the virus circulate unchecked, therefore, means allowing unnecessary infections, suffering and death”, said Dr Tedros.
He said Covid-19 cases around the world are instead increasing and called on countries to use targeted measures to deal with the situation.
He added that it is only a comprehensive approach that can effectively help deal with the situation.
“It’s not a choice between letting the virus run free and shutting down our societies” he said, adding that, still “we don’t know enough about immunity to Covid-19.”