Kenya reports decline in daily COVID-19 infections, but number of infected health workers hits 34

Kenya now has a total of 621 cases of COVID-19. /VCG Photo

Kenya has reported 14 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest increase in daily new infections in more than a week, with the number of health workers affected by the disease hitting 34.

The country now has 621 cases of the disease, as health authorities continue to call upon Kenyans to adhere to the set guidelines aimed at curbing further spread.

“We are facing a very difficult enemy, the coronavirus, and a time comes when every person must make sacrifices for the greater good and for the common time. This is that time. Many Kenyans have risen to this challenge and are strictly abiding by the directives issued,” said Dr. Rashid Aman, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Health.

Also at Friday’ press briefing, Acting Director General in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, said the COVID-19-positive health workers had been infected “either directly in their place of work or indirectly.”

“Health care workers contribute to about 5.5 percent of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country,” he said.

Dr Amoth noted however that Kenya had not lost any health care worker to COVID-19.

Earlier this week, Kenya saw a sharp spike in daily new infections, hitting 45 on Tuesday and 47 on Wednesday.

The figures caused alarm in the country, with sections of the capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa put under lockdown.

While Nairobi and Mombasa have COVID-19 lockdowns, the restrictions only affect movement in and out of their borders. The government has now imposed a lockdown in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area and Mombasa’s Old Town. Even though residents of Nairobi and Mombasa can still move around their cities, they are prohibited from going into and out of the two areas.

Dr Amoth also announced that the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed his administration to give incentives to frontline health care workers as they lead the country in the fight against the pandemic.

“His Excellency (President Uhuru Kenyatta) directed that we develop a welfare package to be able to cushion them from this risk and also to recognize their patriotic deed as they serve this nation,” said Dr. Amoth.

Kenya is one of 52 African countries that have reported cases of COVID-19. The continent has registered more than 54,000 infections and over 2,000 deaths.