KNH Head of Infectious Diseases Predicts End of COVID-19 Pandemic

  • An image of Loice Ombajo
    Head of Infectious Diseases at Kenyatta National Hospital Loice Ombajo speaking at a past interview.
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  • Head of Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Dr Loice Ombajo has predicted the Covid-19 pandemic could end in September or October in the worst-case scenario. 

    With a number of Kenyans advised to stay at home, many are wondering when the Coronavirus pandemic will grind to a halt.

    In an interview with Citizen TV on Tuesday, April 7, Ombajo revealed when the pandemic is expected to end, "How long this lasts depends on what we do.

    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
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    "If we do not stay home, if we do not follow the directives that we have been given, then we are going to be in this for a long time. Worst case scenario could possibly be towards September or October.

    Ombajo added that if Kenyans follow the set government directives of staying at home, washing hands, wearing masks when out in public and avoiding social gatherings then the pandemic will end sooner.

    The lecturer at the University of Nairobi revealed how she arrived at the time set, "From issues of modelling, you know modelling takes the data that we have and says what is the worst-case scenario.

    "It also looks at how other countries have had this go on and I think the best example we have is China. China put in very stringent measures, people stayed in their houses, you are not be found on the street at all, because of that, they were able to contain this sooner."

    Kenyans have been flouting government directives especially ones touching on avoiding public gatherings, dusk till dawn curfew and the cessation of movement.

    Ombajo fired a warning at people who break the directives, "Speaking to all Kenyans, the loss that we have now is nothing compared to the loss that we would have if this disease outbreak was very big.

    "So we just have to persevere a little, we just have to follow these instructions so that we have a chance of getting back to our ordinary lives sooner.

    "What I've learned over the last few weeks working with people in the hospital, everybody is trying to beat the system. People are finding reasons to be out, let us stop that. If we continue finding reasons to be out there will be in this for a long time."

    The physician and infectious disease doctor urged Kenyans to work together and beat the disease adding that Kenyans would rather lose two months than a whole year because of not following orders.

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe launches the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Diagnostic and Reporting Centre, Nairobi in February 2020 as Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi (behind) watches
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe launches the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Diagnostic and Reporting Centre, Nairobi in February 2020 as Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi (behind) watches
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