Covid-19: Over 900 to Die in Nairobi by September - Report

  • Pedestrians assisted by traffic police at a zebra crossing in Nairobi, on Monday, October 21, 2019
    Pedestrians assisted by traffic police at a zebra crossing in Nairobi, on Monday, October 21, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • A section of health workers has projected Nairobi's Covid-19 fatalities to rise by September 2020, stating that 928 will die as the virus peaks in the city.

    The survey was conducted and released by Rescue.co on Thursday, July 9. Rescue.co is an emergency responder organisation. 

    According to the practitioners, the 928 fatalities will originate from 1,505 patients in ICU facilities in the city. The survey added that by September, 102,742 patients will show Covid-19 symptoms and 8,755 people will need hospitalization over the next year (2021). 

    Rescue.co based its projection on the open-sourced epi-models and three changes that have been witnessed in Kenya. The firm stated that there is substantive peer-reviewed evidence as to the localised factors in Sub-Saharan Africa which have/will impact the severity and conditions of COVID-19 in countries like Kenya.

    These localised factors include age distribution with Kenya’s young population factored into the firm's model, a higher percentage of Asymptomatic patients and lower CFR: The observed CFR (Case Fatality Rate, or the percentage of cases that lead to death) in Kenya is currently around 2%. This may partly be explained by the lower testing levels than in other countries.

    A medical personnel holding a Covid-19 virus test kit.
    File image of a Covid-19 testing kit.
    Twitter

    As per the study, the above-mentioned factors suggest that the country may not see the same level of mortality and hospitalisations seen elsewhere.

    "Nevertheless, we believe that Nairobi County hospitals should be prepared for a significant increase in hospitalisations over the coming weeks," the report stated.

    The second change is President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to reopen the country on Monday, July 6. This, coupled with the clear increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in recent days in the country suggests that the country may be entering a new phase of local transmission.

    "With the lifting of lockdown measures, we expect inter-county transmission of the virus to increase but not to significantly increase the transmission of Covid-19 into Nairobi. Whilst many are expected to migrate into Nairobi over the coming weeks, it is assumed that few will be carriers of the virus," an excerpt of the survey reads. 

    The third change is the existence of significantly better-open-sourced models that can be tailored to Kenya. These models take important localised information – like age breakdowns – into account before projecting expected infections. The firm had earlier on based its projections on standard global COVID-19 models.

    Rescue.co recommended an additional 126 ICU beds to 404 to be made available in Nairobi which has approximately 278 beds. 

    "This mortality rate (928 deaths) is based on a number of assumptions, which still lack important Kenya-specific data points that we will continue to collect to refine our model," the survey clarified. 

    Dr. Loice Ombajo, Head of Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) however told this writer that she could not comment on the survey as she did not know the basis of the firm's findings adding that she could only refer to the Health Ministry's projections. 

    As of Monday, July 13, Kenya had recorded 10, 294 positive cases, 197 fatalities and 2, 946 recoveries countrywide. 

    Hospital beds at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Hospital beds at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE