Explained: Why Kenya Could Have 10,000 Covid-19 Cases in April

  • Medics conducting random screening at National Archives, Nairobi on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
    Medics conducting random screening at National Archives, Nairobi on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
    File
  • In a press conference at Afya House on Monday, March 31, Patrick Omwanda Amoth, Director General at the Ministry of Health stated that Kenya was likely to have 10,000 Covid-19 cases by the end of April.

    "Our modelling puts us at having 1,000 cases by the first week of April. We postulate that we will have 5,000 cases by mid-April and potentially 10,000 cases b the end of April," Amoth stated.

    The Director-General, however, failed to explain how he arrived at these figures. This was clarified by Amoth in an interview with Monday Report on Monday, March 31.

     Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna (left), Acting Ministry of Health Director-General Patrick Amoth (centre) and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe (right) during a press conference at the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi on March 30, 2020.
    Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna (left), Acting Ministry of Health Director-General Patrick Amoth (centre) and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe (right) during a press conference at the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi on March 30, 2020.
    The Standard

    "The numbers we gave you are based on our mathematical modelling which is based on n 4 parameters," explained Amoth.

    As per his explanation, the first parameter was based on the likelihood of getting infected with the virus.

    "The first is the susceptibility to getting the infection, this being a new virus it means all Kenyans are susceptible to contracting it," Amoth stated.

    The second parameter was based on the people who had been exposed and were incubating it.

    This would account for the 50 confirmed cases in the country as well as those who remained asymptomatic but were carrying the virus nonetheless.

    "The second parameter is the number exposed and incubating the disease," he stated.

    In the same vein, the third consideration that had informed the figures was how infectious it was. 

    Statistics indicated that one person could potentially infect four other people. This could give rise to the exponential rise of the virus with each new tally multiplied by a factor of four.

    "The third parameter in the modelling is the infectivity of the virus based on studies from China. It clearly indicates that one person is capable of spreading the virus to 4 new people." Amoth provided.

    The last parameter that informed the figures was the number that had recovered or had been taken into quarantine.

    As of current figures, one person in the country has recovered from the virus, with another having succumbed.

    For those in quarantine, CS for Health Mutahi Kagwe provided that there were 2050 people in the government designated quarantine facilities as of Sunday 29, March. 

    Kenya Red Cross paramedics and volunteers at the Nakuru County Level 5 Hospital during a training exercise on the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in light of the Covid-19 pandemic on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
    Kenya Red Cross paramedics and volunteers at the Nakuru County Level 5 Hospital during a training exercise on the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in light of the Covid-19 pandemic on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
    File

    "The fourth and final parameter is the number recovered and removed. The number recovered are then not capable of transmitting the disease to other people or the people who have been removed to quarantine and isolation are not able to transmit the disease to other people," concluded Amoth.

    It was on this basis that the ministry had arrived at the 10,000 figure that had confounded Kenyans.

    The Director-General however provided that these numbers were not set in stone and could be reduced if Kenyans adhered to the guidelines set out by the government.