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WHO: Kenya risks virus resurgence

By Mwangi Mumero
Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti. Photo/PD/File
In summary

The risk of Covid-19 resurgence in Kenya and other African countries remains high due to poor adherence of public health measures, mass gatherings, low testing and vaccination rates, an analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown.

For instance, in Kenya, just around one million people have been vaccinated in a population of around 50 million, leaving a huge chunk vulnerable.

Most African nations are experiencing community transmission, yet 31 out of the 46 countries analysed conducted less than 10 tests per 10,000 people per week in the past four weeks.

Low testing, according to WHO, leads less understanding of case clusters and contact tracing not being carried out.

Of the 46 countries analysed by WHO, three face very high risk, 20 face high risk, 22 moderate risk and only one faces low risk. 

With around 4.5 million confirmed cases and over 120,000 deaths to date, Africa has not experienced a huge surge in cases this year. 

WHO officials have warned that the relatively low number of cases has encouraged complacency and there are signs of reduced observance of preventive measures.

“A new upsurge of Covid-19 infections is a real risk in many countries even if the region’s case count in recent weeks appears to be stable,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

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