“Prepare for the Fourth Wave” – Kemri Warns Mombasa & Nairobi
The chances of Kenya being hit by a fourth wave mid- July has been alerted by experts. According to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) presser, the Delta variant that’s already causing havoc in parts of Nyanza and western will surge relentlessly this new month. Among the hit zones that they had noted it to start from were the coast region and some parts of Nairobi.
While businesses continue to take shape after a huge molestation from the Covid-19 pandemic, Kemri has again projected a potential risk that would cause havoc yet again to the stability of the country.
According to Kemri, the Indian variant (Delta) which is now becoming highly transmissible has already affected very many people in many parts of Western and Nyanza regions of the country, something that had been earlier fueled by the third wave. The report which laid out the forecast for the next six months warns that the fourth wave was beckoning and that by mid-July, the country will experience a peak in the rate of infections.
Kemri suggests that the Indian variant which is already in the public poses a huge danger compared to the previous variants because of its extra worse symptoms than the others. Researchers have suggested that the variant will be 60 percent transmissible, because of its rapidly changing genomic sequencing.
“We believe the measures we put in place in June will prevent a second wave in July,” Acting Director General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said on Thursday, adding that the ministry is still assessing the data collected to determine the possibility of the country experiencing a fourth wave.
“We are still watching the data and information as to whether we have a fourth wave is data-driven but we believe that certain measures that we took early in the month of June could preempt the development of a fourth wave coming In July,” Amoth said.
The study projects an additional 4,300 hospitalizations and 580 deaths from the Delta variant.
“Genomic data from across the country indicates an increasing proportion of cases positive for the Delta variant, suggests the establishment of local transmission sometime in April or May.”
“We are beginning to see replacement of the Alpha variant that was predominant in the third wave,” the experts said.
Kemri suggested an accurate timing procedure to be done since earlier results projects the outcome of what will be of the country in the next few weeks.
“The timing of the next wave is imminent for the country as a whole or, in the case of the lakeside region is currently occurring. The health services in lakeside region counties are in jeopardy of being stretched beyond capacity,” it states.
As of Thursday, 406,146 Kenyans had been inoculated with the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine while 1,010,954 people reached with one dose.
Dr. Amoth has called on Kenyans to embrace the vaccination process in addition to the other protection measures as directed by the Ministry of health.
“I want to appeal to all Kenyans, whether you have received your two doses or a single shot, to continue to wear masks properly and continue to maintain social distance. The proportion of our people who have been fully vaccinated is still small so we are very far from achieving herd immunity,” Amoth said.
Last month, the government had initiated tougher containment measures for 13 counties said to be Covid-19 hotspots.
Through a statement, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said that the hotspot counties constituted 60 percent of the national Covid-19 caseload.
These counties are Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kericho, Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa-Bay and Migori.
The genomic sequencing had been conducted from data from November 2020 to early June 2021 from samples sequenced at Kemri-Well come Trust, including 677 from Coast counties, 114 from Nairobi, 143 from Nyanza/Western and 104 from other counties.
According to reports from the Ministry of Health by 1st of July 2021, the positivity rate of the country stood at 9.8 percent, with Nairobi, Uasin Gishu and Mombasa counties leading with 174, 37 and 27 respectively.