Kenya’s COVID-19 cases surpass 21, 000 as fatalities spike

The number of COVID-19 cases in Kenya reached 21,363 on Saturday after 727 tested positive for the disease in the last 24 hours.

Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that 696 Kenyans and 31 foreigners were confirmed positive after 6,371 samples were tested, bringing the cumulative tests to 310,330.

He said that 23 patients, among them a 16-year-old, had succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, raising the national toll of fatalities to 364.

“We are increasingly seeing younger people passing away,” said Kagwe, adding that strict adherence to containment measures like wearing face coverings, hygiene and social distancing is key to reduce infections and deaths.

The cabinet secretary said that 254 patients had recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 8,419.

He said that Nairobi remained the pandemic’s hotspot though infections were rapidly spreading in rural counties amid lifting of travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, Kenya resumed international flights on Saturday as senior officials stressed that solid measures had been put in place to avert the risk of imported COVID-19 cases.

James Macharia, cabinet secretary for Transport said that travellers from foreign countries will be required to provide proof of their coronavirus free status besides taking temperatures and uploading a mobile application to enhance contact tracing.

He said the government will constantly review protocols governing resumption of international flights due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 pandemic.