Although, over the last one month, focus has been fixed on the five counties within the lockdown zone, a surge of new cases in certain counties outside the zone is now shifting the focus.
In what appears to have been a result of a combination of laxity on the part of the masses and complacency on the part of health workers and authorities, the last four weeks have seen a sharp increase in infections within counties that were previously considered to be relatively safe.
Latest data shows that the burden of the disease is gradually shifting away from beyond the five counties under lockdown, which in March accounted for more than 70 per cent of the country’s caseload.
In the past one month, the burden of infection has expanded from the five counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru to other counties like Elgeyo Marakwet, Kitui, Mombasa, Murang’a, Laikipia, Kericho and Uasin Gishu, which are now reporting a sharp rise in new infections.
Isolation and Intensive Care units are fast running out of space as more patients continue being admitted to various hospitals with Covid-19 symptoms.
One of the worst hit counties is Murang’a, which has recently featured prominently in the national daily briefings on Covid-19 by the Ministry of Health — in some instances coming second to Nairobi in number of new infections.
According to the county’s Health Executive Joseph Mbai, 12 cases were admitted to ICU on Saturday, the highest number ever since the pandemic was reported in March last year.
In Kakamega County, the isolation ward in Mumias town has been re-opened after the number of Covid-19 patients in critical condition admitted to the County General Hospital shot up.
“We don’t have more beds to accommodate patients at the county general hospital, and the situation is getting desperate by the day,” said Health Executive Collins Matemba.
Counties in Nyanza and Western region are also grappling with the latest surge in Covid-19 infections, with hospitals in the two regions reporting an increased number of admissions.