Forty-five more people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Kenya, the Health ministry announced on Tuesday, the highest number of positive test results in a single day since Covid-19 was first reported in the country.
Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe told the daily briefing that 29 of the new cases were in Nairobi, 11 in Mombasa and five in Wajir, north-eastern Kenya.
He said that all of Nairobi’s new patients were from Eastleigh estate, raising the area’s total number of infections to more than 60.
These cases were confirmed following the testing of 1,077 samples in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also announced that nine people patients had tested negative for the disease, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 182.
With that number of recoveries and with the total number of deaths remaining 24, the number of actives cases of Covid-19 in Kenya stood at 329.
CS Kagwe appealed to the public to continue exercising caution, noting that “we have reached a point where people think we are out of the woods but that’s not the case”.
“Things are not normal… today’s figure is a demonstration of just how far from normal things are,” he said.
“Those who continue on the path of exposing Kenyans [to the virus] will bear the brunt of the law,” he added, noting that police were to focus on security, not forcing the people to protect themselves from the deadly disease.
“We have been warned that unless we change we will see upwards of 50 people daily. We are inviting death upon our loved ones at this point.”
The CS also noted that with a return to normalcy, despite explicit instructions against this, members of the public had aired their frustrations about indisciplined people who do not wear face masks and observe other anti-virus guidelines issued by the government.
“I appeal to the political class to focus on educating our people. Things have not been easy and are getting more difficult,” he added.
He said the government would issue further directives on containing the spread of the virus during the week.
Asked about the reopening of restaurants and whether it was counterproductive, he said he did not regret the decision as it was “an effort to ensure people don’t go hungry”.
“We didn’t want people who had jobs to fall on hard times and need help,” he said, but added that “losing them again is on the table”.
In Africa, the coronavirus had infected at least 48,186 people and killed over 1,850, according to case tracker Worldometer’s count on May 5.
Since the first case was reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019, at least 3,663,815 people worldwide had been infected by May 5.
The total number of deaths worldwide was 252,758 and that of recoveries at 1,205,904.
The number of active cases stood at 2,205,153, with two per cent or 49,649 of them being critical and the rest mild.
Worldometer’s count showed that the number of closed cases was 1,458,662, with 83 per cent or 1,205,904 being the number of recoveries or those discharged.