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Kenya’s COVID-19 positivity rate climbs to 15.6pc after 1,259 new infections

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31- Kenya’s COVID-19 positivity rate rose to 15.6 percent after 1,259 people tested positive for the disease, from a sample size of 8,081 raising the total caseload to 203,213.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said 1,469 patients were admitted to various hospitals across the country among them 185 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

She said 5 patients had succumbed to the disease, with one death having occurred in the last 24 hours pushing fatalities to 3,931.

498 patients were discharged after recovering from the virus, bringing total recoveries to 188,936.

By July 31, over 1.7 million people had been vaccinated including 661,314 who had received their second jab.

Kenya’s vaccination campaign against COVID-19 got a major boost Saturday after receiving 410, 000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the United Kingdom.

The consignment was received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi alongside British Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya Josephine Gauld among other top government officials.

The donation is part of 817,000 doses that President Uhuru Kenyatta secured during his three-day visit to London this week.

Gauld; “The consignment is the first batch of the 817,000 doses for Kenya with a further donation of 407,000 doses from the UK expected in the country via the COVAX facility.”

The remaining half of the doses which were donated through the COVAX facility were expected to arrive in the country in the coming days ahead.

Mwangangi lauded the UK government for extending a helping hand to Kenya noting that the vaccines will go a long way to boost the ongoing inoculation exercise in the country.

“This consignment could not have come at a better time, particularly when we are in a robust campaign to vaccinate our people against Covid-19, a disease that has caused untold suffering not only to Kenyans, but the entire world,” she said.

Kenya had vaccinated close to 1.7 million Kenyans by end of July. The Ministry of Health says it plans to vaccinate 10 million people by December this year.

“This is indeed literally a shot in the arm as it will go a long way towards bolstering our efforts to vaccinate a majority of people on our journey towards herd immunity,” Mwangangi added.

Kenya just like many African countries have only vaccinated less than 1.5 per cent of its population.

Mwangangi asked Kenyans who are yet to receive their jab to do so especially now that there is not shortfall with more donations expected to arrive in the country.

“We continue to urge all our frontline workers who are yet to take their vaccines, those aged 58 and above to turn out in our medical facilities and get vaccinated. We are not only calling on those who need to be vaccinated for the second dose as has been the case the last few weeks but even those yet to receive their first dose,” she said.

Kenya is also expecting to receive 1,760,000 doses of Pfizer from the US government.

A further 235,000 doses of AstraZeneca are expected in the country from Greece with an extra 55,000 doses of AstraZeneca set to arrive in the country from Lativia as part of bilateral donations.

The Covax facility has also allocated Kenya 407,040 doses of AstraZeneca and 271,440 doses of Pfizer. This besides the 13 million doses of Johnson and Johnson, procured by the government through the AVAT-AU mechanism, whose delivery will start in August.

President Kenyatta has since urged the global community to heighten efforts in promoting equity in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

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