41 Percent of Kenyans in Urban Areas Have Already Contracted Covid-19 – Study

Nairobi, Mombasa and their neighbouring counties have already experienced peak Covid-19 infections. A scientific study by the government has revealed that the disease is now at a decline in the cities which first experienced a high infection rate.

It said that Mombasa had experienced peak infections in June and the rates in Nairobi were highest in August.

“We find that the rate of new infections has also peaked in Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos Kwale and Busia.” Kwale is predicted to have been the first to peak in the middle of May.

The report also shows that Covid-19 infections are still rising in other counties especially in the Rift Valley, Eastern and North Eastern regions.

“We forecast that the final county to reach peak infection rate will be the arid and sparsely populated Wajir County in coming days,” says the study.

“Our prediction is that rates of new positive tests and deaths attributed to Covid-19 will enter a long-tailed decline from August 2020 onwards. It is also likely hospitalisation incidence will follow a similar trend to the infection and death rates,” says the report.

The report also says that the infection rates in the country were almost as high as those in the UK and US. The difference is that the disease has been less severe in Kenya with fewer fatalities. The study shows that about 41 percent of Kenyans in Urban areas have already contracted Covid-19.

“Despite this penetration, reported severe cases and deaths are low. Our analysis suggests the Covid-19 disease burden in Kenya may be far less than initially feared.” The authors say it is still a paradox why the high infection rates but less severe disease and deaths in Kenya and other African counties compared to Spain, UK and some US cities.

“The reason for this apparently low level of Covid-19 disease in Kenya is unknown,” the teams says.

The study also showed that unreported cases, a younger population and herd immunity could have contributed to the mild cases in the region.

The report was published by the Ministry of Health, The Presidency and UK scientists led by John Ojal of the Kenya Medical Research Institute also included the Director General of Health, Patrick Amoth, administrative secretaries at the ministry, Mercy Mwangangi and Rashid Aman as well as representatives from the Presidential Policy and Strategy Unit.

The work also involved researchers from the University of Warwick, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, all of UK, and Pwani University, Kenya.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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