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Report: Covid has claimed 1,072 senior citizens

By George Kebaso
Thursday, April 8th, 2021
Dr Willis Akhwale, chair of the Covid-19 taskforce. Photo/PD/File
In summary

Since Covid-19 was first reported in the country on March 13, 2020, the virus had by Monday claimed 1,072 lives of people aged 60 and above. 

Coincidentally, or by design of vulnerability, the first case to succumb was a 66-year old man, who was said to have had a long-term health condition.

The National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) chaired by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that 514 people aged between 50 and 59 years had succumbed  one year down the line.

This could have been the reason the government decided to start instant vaccination of those aged 58 years and above against the disease as revealed by Dr Willis Akhwale, head of the Covid-19 vaccine deployment taskforce.

Target group

“They are at most risk of severe disease and account for 60 per cent of our recorded deaths.

They are going to be a priority target group under the ongoing phase one vaccination exercise,” Akhwale stated. 

The Health ministry  had announced that the first phase of inoculation that started on March 5 targeted 1.25 million frontline workers, including teachers; healthcare and security personnel.

It is understood that the infections surge over the past few weeks, with a positivity rate peaking at 22.1 per cent, necessitated the need by the government to start vaccinating the elderly.

In Monday’s Covid-19 report by the NERC, a total of 316 people of  between ages 40 and 49 have also succumbed to the disease closely in terms of age with 202 cases involving 30-39 year-olds.

“The cumulative deaths by age; 0-9 years (45), 10-19 (17), and 20-29 are 92,” said the Covid-19 report being the NERC’s No.377 briefing since the updates began in March 2020.

A survey was conducted between March and September 2020 where demographic, laboratory, clinical and outcome data were extracted from medical records of RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV2 patients admitted in six hospitals in Kenya.

Some of the experts involved in the research included Acting Director General of Health Patrick Amoth, Kenya National Hospital Chief Executive, Evanson Kamuri, virologists Loice Ombajo, Omu Anzala and Prof SM Thumbi concluded that the risk of death increased with age with patients over 60 years of age having more than one-and-half increased risk of death compared to those below 60 years.

By conclusion of the survey in September, the country had recorded more than 45,000 cases and 1,000 Coronavirus deaths.

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