Kenya’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose to 12,062 on Friday with 389 more positive test results.
Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe said 385 of the new patients are Kenyans and four foreigners.
These cases were found following the testing of 3,545 samples, which raised the total number of samples Kenya has tested so far to 233,641.
Kenya’s first case of the coronavirus was confirmed on March 13 and by July 17, the country’s death toll was 222. In his briefing on Friday, the minister said five more patients had died and that four of them had underlying conditions including diabetes and hypertension.
Kenya crossed the 10,000 mark of coronavirus cases five days ago, about four months since the first case was reported.
While noting yet another jump in infections, CS Kagwe asked the public not to drop their guard when it comes to preventive measures.
Dr Patrick Amoth, the acting Director-General of Health Services, said 345 patients had recovered, raising the total number of recovered patients to 3,983. He said 134 of them had been receiving treatment in hospital and 211 at home.
“So far no one has died from the virus from the home-based care programme,” he noted.
Mr Kagwe and other officials from the ministry toured Murang’a County to assess its preparedness for rising cases of the disease.
The minister said Muranga, governed by Mr Mwangi wa Iria, had met the requirement for 330 isolation beds as announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
By Friday, the county had 349 isolation beds and 35 beds in intensive care units at various hospitals.
But Mr Kagwe noted that the training of health workers remains crucial as Kenya tackles the Covid-19 pandemic and other diseases.
In terms of country preparedness, the CS said home-based case is the best way to deal with the pandemic.
“We want to roll-out training even to family members for people to be managed better by their families,” he said.
He added that no laboratory in the country has been closed to Covid-19 testing but said, “We discourage people who have no symptoms from walking into KNH [and other facilities] to be tested.”
As the country deals with the pandemic and its wide range of effects, 20 Cuban doctors are set to arrive Friday evening to help ease the burden in the health sector.
The doctors’ stay in Kenya for six months is part of an exchange programme that has seen them share knowledge as their Kenyan counterparts are trained in Cuba.
The doctors, specialised in areas including cardiology, renal disease and paediatrics, will stay at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital.