Medics are warning Kenyans to take precaution as the third wave of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the country.
Already there is increasing infections, hospital admissions and death figures above those experienced last November at the peak of the second wave.
And now some experts are raising concern that the worrying number of deaths and hospital admissions and even the cases could be blamed on new strain.
Many more less prominent people are hospitalized in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and thousands are under home-based care as healthcare workers and counties prepare for a crisis.
The Health ministry on Saturday reported that 1,274 people had tested positive for the disease, out of a sample size of 7,240, bringing the total confirmed positive cases to 120,163 with some 123 patients currently battling for their lives in the ICU.
The same Saturday, Kericho County was thrown into mourning after deputy governor Susan Kikwai succumbed to the disease.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has asked counties to equip hospitals in readiness to handle the numbers adding that the country’s health system is beginning to feel the strain.
Last week Kagwe, told the Senate Health committee that critically ill patients are being transferred to Nairobi for treatment yet the counties were given money to equip their respective hospitals.
He said that already hospitals and even the ICUs in Nairobi are full and counties should get ready for the upsurge of the numbers.
All the intensive care beds at Kenyatta National Hospital and Mbagathi are full, forcing Kenyans to look for space in private facilities which are almost full.
“It’s bad. All hospitals in Nairobi are now having a waiting list for ICU and Covid-19 isolation beds with oxygen. Please mask up, take care of yourselves,” Dr Ahmed Kalebi, Chief consultant pathologist, Lancet Group of Labs.
Kericho governor Prof Paul Chepkwony, while announcing the death of his deputy at the Council of Governors headquarters in Nairobi, cautioned Kenyans against lowering their guards in the face of the lethal wave of the virus.
“We must not lower the guard. It has taken away our deputy governor. This virus is not a respecter of persons,” Prof Chepkwony said.
The rising numbers are causing concern, with questions on what COVID-19 strain is spreading.
The new daily infections are now above 1,000, and the positivity rate stands at 17.5 per cent, almost four times the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended level of five per cent, pointing to a deepening crisis and fears of the health system getting overwhelmed.
The average daily double-digits death rate currently reported is being blamed on Kenyans not adhering to the public health measures as community infections have exposed vulnerable and immune-compromised age groups.