2.7 Million Kenyans May Already Have Covid-19-KEMRI Report


2.7 Million Kenyans May Already Have Covid-19-KEMRI Report

A survey by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Wellcome Trust warned that over 2.7 million Kenyans have been exposed to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The survey was based on 2,535 blood samples tested through blood donations collected from several parts of the country. KEMRI developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) which focused on spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 which was validated and tested numerously.

The researchers concluded their analysis of how antibodies in blood samples indicate whether one was exposed or not. Antibodies have the capacity to remain positive for months.

“There is a large gap between the confirmed test cases identified by Rapid Response Teams in testing and tracing, and the numbers of individuals in the population that we believe have been exposed,” an excerpt of the report states.

File image of a Covid-19 testing kit.

Nairobi County leads with an estimated 12.4% which translates to approximately 550,000 residents out of 4.5 million. Rift Valley, Nyanza, Central, Eastern, Western and Coast had 510,000, 490,000, 370,000, 320,000, 220,000 and 200,000 respectively.

The gap being referred to is the difference between the cases recorded and the numbers within the model. For instance, as of Thursday, June 2, Kenya recorded 6,941 cases with 152 fatalities. Nairobi had 3,526 cases as compared to 550,00 exposed Mombasa had 1,548 cases as compared to 200,000 exposed.

North Eastern did not report any case of Kenyans exposed to the virus, out of 41 blood samples collected.

The report added that Kenyans should be prepared for severe cases of the disease as large numbers of the population exposed would lead models to predict significant numbers of severe cases and deaths. County hospitals are monitoring for pneumonia which spiked from 137,667 in February 2020 to 195,504 in June 2020.

According to the report, approximately 6,684 deaths will be recorded with 26,093 people suffering from severe diseases.

The study detailed that Kenyans are either not getting severely sickly or are asymptomatic. Health Ministry already released a home-based care plan for Covid-19 patients, most of them asymptomatic.

It added that the best way of estimating exposure to Covid-19 in Kenya would be to visit randomly selected homesteads to collect and test blood samples. This perspective has not yet been approached as it is not practical with Kenya battling with a shortage in testing kits.



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