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Government admits Madaraka Day fete to blame for Covid-19 spike

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy JAEL MBOGA | Tue,Jun 08 2021 13:48:56 EAT
By JAEL MBOGA | Tue,Jun 08 2021 13:48:56 EAT

 Man getting an oral swab for a Covid-19 test. [File, Standard]

The national government has admitted that the Madaraka Day celebration in Kisumu County is to blame for the spike in Covid-19 infections.

In a statement to newsrooms on Monday, acting Health director-general Patrick Amoth said Covid-19 cases in Nyanza and surrounding counties are expected to rise in June and July.

Kenya has reported over 172,491 Covid-19 confirmed cases since March 2020 with 3,287 deaths reported within the same period, he said.

Covid 19 Time Series


Dr Amoth added that in the past three weeks, the Health ministry has noticed a steady increase in the number of Covid cases in Nyanza and North Rift regions; especially in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Kisii.

The other counties are Nyamira, Migori, Busia, Vihiga, Bungoma, Kericho, and Bomet.

Kisumu County has recorded a surge in malaria cases with most patients also testing positive for Covid-19 since the “double mutant” Indian variant was reported there a couple of months ago.

Areas with the highest malaria burden include; Nyando, Nyakach and  Seme and Kisumu East sub-counties. Children are the worst hit as their admissions have surged three times in the last two months, according to records at the Kisumu County Hospital.

From 19 per cent, children admitted with malaria has now hit 60 per cent while adult numbers doubled from 25 to 50 per cent and Kisumu County Director Health Fredrick Oluoch now fears there could be stock outs considering “we have antimalarial to treat the disease but if we don’t receive another consignment we might run support of the supply.”

Those diagnosed with both malaria and Covid-19 are adults and the rising number of malaria cases have coincided with the recent heavy rains and the rising water levels in Lake Victoria with a projected rise in cases extending to July.

The recent gatherings and increased intercountry movements during the Madaraka Day celebrations in Kisumu may have cause an upsurge, Dr Amoth said.

He added that the new variants are highly infectious.

The Ministry of Health cautioned residents in Nyanza and surrounding regions of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Busia, Vihiga, Bungoma, Kericho, and Bomet of the risk of contracting Covid-19.

He urged them to remain vigilant in observing the laid down Covid-19 containment measures.

Countries that are experiencing a surge of Covid-19 cases due to the emerging variants have had their situation compounded by large social and public gatherings, and limited availability of the Covid-19 vaccines.

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