Covid-19 positivity rate hits three-month high


Covid-19 vaccine taskforce chairman Willis Akhwale during a briefing in Nairobi. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG 

The Covid-19 infections have risen to a three-month high in November, raising fears that Kenya may be headed for a new wave.

Data by the Ministry of Health shows that the positivity rate hit 9.5 percent on Tuesday, the highest rate last recorded in July.

The Health Ministry attributes the current spike to the cold weather, which has seen an increase in tract infections, including flu.

“The infections are projected to rise given that the country is experiencing cold weather and we are still facing the influenza period. The public should be more vigilant as Covid-19 is still with us,” said Dr Willis Akhwale, the Vaccines Deployment Task Force chairperson.

The cases have been on a gradual rise of above five percent in the past 14 days, recording a positivity rate of above two percent in mid-October before shooting up in the last week of the month, putting the country at high risk, based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

Nairobi County has been mapped as the most infected area with the latest data showing it accounted for 75.3 percent of the total positive cases recorded. However, the county still leads with the number of fully vaccinated people at 54.3 percent.

According to the WHO, a country is at high risk if the positivity rate rises above five percent for 14 consecutive days, and, therefore, advises for restrictions to help curb the spread.

“More than one year since the exercise started, the country still faces vaccine hesitancy, worsened by the lifting of the containment measures by the ministry that has made Kenyans assume the disease is over,” he said.

So far just 36.2 percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated, even as the country targets to jab at least 27 million people by the end of the year.

Since the positivity started rising, people are slowly returning to wearing masks in crowded places.

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