MoH reports 15 new cases of the Indian COVID-19 variant

An image of the ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

By Citizen Digital

Kenya has recorded 15 new cases of a variant which was first detected in India.

The 15 were from the 18 positive cases detected from samples collected at the JKIA.

This, in addition to the 5 from samples collected at the KIBOS factory brings to 20, the number of cases recorded in the country.

It was after subjecting travelers who had used JKIA as the port of entry into the country to both the rapid antigen test and an additional PCR test and further genomic sequencing that health officials were able to detect 15 more cases of the Indian variant.

On Wednesday, May 5, the Ministry confirmed it had recorded five cases of the Indian COVID-19 variant from samples collected in Kisumu

“18 samples were positive, of these 15 were of the India variant. Genomic sequencing is an expensive venture not done in hospitals but in two centres. In Kisumu we are testing 70 contacts that were traced to have come into contact with the five cases, not to be released until genomic sequencing is done and determined,” Acting Director General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth said on Wednesday.

Who on Monday, classified the double mutant variant as one of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily, is moderately resistant to antibodies but has low severity among those who are vaccinated.

Health authorities in the country are yet to report significant adverse symptoms in those who tested positive for it.

“We haven’t had any hospitals that are able to detect it. Health Ministry CAS Dr. Rashid Aman said “ We are being more vigilant”

With Kenya is still weighing its options of acquiring other who qualified vaccines into its vaccine program. China’s Sinopharm may have received WHO approval for emergency use authorization, but that is just one step before Kenya considers it.

So far 925,509 people have been vaccinated with the ministry working to ensure, the remaining shots are in arms before the June 28 expiration date.

Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, 410 more people tested positive for COVID-19 from 3799 samples, with a test positivity rate of 10.8%.

22 deaths have been recorded bringing the fatalities to 2950.

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