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Concern as cases of patients without symptoms increase



When he appeared on national TV, Director-General for Health Patrick Amoth was hard-pressed to explain why a patient in Homa Bay County had been hospitalised yet he wasn’t receiving any treatment for coronavirus.

This question was raised after a video of the patient identified as Kevin Aura went viral on social media, claiming he was healthy despite the Ministry of Health insisting that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Dr Amoth explained that Mr Aura was rightly admitted because samples taken from him for Covid-19 came back positive.

“Kevin is case number 257, and he’s not being treated because he doesn’t display symptoms. The test was done in Kemri Kisumu and turned positive,” Dr Amoth.

Mr Aura, 26, is one of the patients considered to be asymptomatic, who now account for almost half of the confirmed cases in Kenya.

As daily numbers of confirmed cases rise, the ministry says there is evidence of asymptomatic cases, sparking fear of unwitting community transmission. Being asymptomatic means that you have no symptoms and therefore require no treatment.

“Fifty-six per cent of the 281 cases are asymptomatic, but are being isolated as the ministry waits for the virus to pass on during the 14 days in a process known as viral shedding,” Dr Amoth added.

READ ALSO:   Dr Amoth attends burial with 400 people to represent Kagwe – PHOTOS + VIDEO

Globally, studies published have found that asymptomatic cases account for between five per cent and 80 per cent of people testing positive for the virus. But screening misses these people because most are symptom- based screening.

This means that Covid-19 patients who do not develop and show any signs are a source of concern as Kenya battles to flatten its curve.

Dr Amoth said this has important implications for infection control since they rely on presence of signs and symptoms to identify and isolate patients who might have Covid-19. This, he added, is because there is no specific treatment for Covid-19 and the best way to handle each patient is to give them medication based on symptoms.

With patients with no symptoms like fever or even sore throat, there’s no need to give medication. He explained that the man would be required to stay in hospital for 14 days and after both follow-up tests turn negative.

“We’re keeping Kelvin in the isolation centre until the 14th day when we’ll start repeating the tests to see if he turns negative. If released now, he will pass the disease onto others. We don’t have to give him any treatment because he is asymptomatic.

READ ALSO:   ‘Kenya could have 10,000 coronavirus cases by end of April,’ MOH DG Patrick Amoth says

If you don’t have any symptoms, we keep you there until the disease runs its incubation period,” he added.

Dr Majid Twahir, the associate dean for clinical affairs and chief of staff at Aga Khan University Hospital, said people who present with mild or no symptoms can be the most dangerous in regard to transmission.

Since most of them are healthy and not aware that they have the virus, they can end up transmitting it to highrisk groups like the elderly or people with pre-existing illnesses, he said.

Social distance Just because you have mild or no symptoms does not mean the people you spread the virus to will have the same symptoms,” he said.

Dr Twahir explained that the best way to ensure people are safe is to maintain social distance and wear a mask.

This would ensure less virus will be circulating.

“Wearing masks interrupts transmission because it tracks droplets. The face mask protects the people around you and ensures you don’t infect others,” the doctor said.

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Death of festivals dims Lamu hope to revive ailing tourism



Maulid. Food and Expo. Art, yoga and kite festivals. These are just a few of a slew of art and culture experiences that Lamu County used to dish out to the world and which boosted its tourism profile.

Lamu Old Town, also known as “the island of festivals”, had a splendid array of events and festivals ranging from Eid-Ul-Adhar to the Lamu Fishing Competition, Lamu Art Festival, The Lamu Cultural Festival, Lamu Yoga Festival, the Kite Festival, Shella Hat Contest and the Lamu Painters Festival.

But these events were put on the back burner as the tourism sector took a nosedive.

Coming on the backdrop of the Mpeketoni terror attacks in 2014 that also hit tourism hard, hospitality industry players say the vital sector is in the doldrums and want the festivals reinstated. Speaking during a forum in Lamu at the weekend, hoteliers and other players questioned why the county government has not been keen in reviving the events.

Hotelier Salim Abubakar said the county’s tourism sector was on the decline after the festivals were lifted. He urged Governor Fahim Twaha to restore the events and revive the sector.

“All the festivals that were introduced in the calendar of events are crucial. They served to attract visitors, both domestic and international, to Lamu. We need them back so that the tourism sector can be improved,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Patrick Amoth: The village boy who rose to represent Africa in top World body

Marketing strategy

Former Lamu Tourism Association (LTA) deputy chairman Ghalib Alwy said the body, in partnership with the county tourism office started the festivals to attract more tourists. Mr Alwy said it is important that the events are retained.

“We launched those events as a marketing strategy for Lamu tourism. Through them, we were able to attract tourists from Kenya, East Africa and the world. This is after the terrorism attacks led to an almost 90 percent decline of the sector. It’s only through the festivals that tourists got the confidence to visit Lamu again. The events must be reinstated,” said Mr Alwy. Mr Mohamed Hassan noted that local tourism was still doing badly, attributing the situation to a section of foreign countries that are still having active travel advisories against their citizens visiting Lamu.

“The travel advisories still play a big role in scaring away tourists. We want as many festivals as possible as they have the ability to ensure the tourism climbs back on its feet,” said Mr Hassan.

Some of the festivals known and which are still being celebrated by many in Lamu includes the annual Lamu Cultural Festival that is marked between November and December, the Maulid Festival marked every January, New Year’s Dhow Race marked on January 1 and Eid Ul-Fitr marked every July.

READ ALSO:   Dr Amoth attends burial with 400 people to represent Kagwe – PHOTOS + VIDEO

The festivals are said to attract more than 30,000 visitors from around the world.


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Drama as delegates heckle DP Ruto during BBI launch 




Delegates heckled Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at the Bomas of Kenya over his remarks on the report

The DP was forced to pause his speech after the delegates started booing him after he appeared to express his dissatisfaction at the Youth leader Trans Nzoia County Alex Matere’s remarks about his wheelbarrow donations.

Ruto said by saying that Kenyans should not adopt 16th-century technology, Matere was referring to the wheelbarrows he has been supplying to Kenyans.

However, Ruto noted that the discussions Kenyans should have is why a 16th-century tool has millions of citizens still dependent on it in the 21st-century.

The DP’s remarks didn’t sit well with most of the delegates, which resulted in them openly expressing their displeasure and forcing him to stop talking.

Mbita Member of Parliament Millie Odhiambo appeared mainly pissed by Ruto’s remarks as he stood and jeering Ruto, drowning his speech.

He went on to ask for a minute to conclude his speech but the crowd couldn’t hear of it as they continued to jeer him after he appeared to hit out at the former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

READ ALSO:   Dr Amoth attends burial with 400 people to represent Kagwe – PHOTOS + VIDEO

Ruto concluded his speech by calling on leaders to refrain from contests pitting the rich and the poor by quoting former US President Abraham Lincoln.

DP Ruto then proceeded to welcome his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta to make his remarks with the delegates still shouting “respect the president,” as he took his seat.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also hit on the DP for engaging in early campaigns instead of supporting the President in delivering the Big-4 Agenda.

Raila said that Kenyans expect to be united for now but not campaigns of who will be the President in 2022 as they will handle that when the time comes.

The ODM Party leader noted that Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta should be working as a pair to bring a difference in the country.

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Uhuru maintains Raila is not government




President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday 26 October 2020 made it clear that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga is not in the government.

Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, the Head of State explained that when he decided to come into an agreement with Raila, the mission was to find a way to healing this country.

“When we sat down to talk, something that was very difficult, for him and also for me and my team, very difficult. But when we got through to it and we spoke and we spoke again, we agreed that we are not here to share positions and we should put our various positions aside,” he said.

He mentioned that the two agreed to come together with a common agenda of ensuring that what the people of Kenyan have witnessed in 1992, 2005, 2007, and 2017 Kenyans shall never witness again.

He went on to make it clear that Raila Odinga never made any demands from the government.

“We did not talk about sharing government and as we stand today, he (Raila) is not in government. He is not in government; he never made any demands for the government. He never made any demands for a share of government,” he added.

READ ALSO:   Patrick Amoth: The village boy who rose to represent Africa in top World body

The President pointed out that Raila Odinga asked for the two opposing sides to come together and fix what has been ailing the country.

He explained that this would allow the country in the future to be able to compete without the need for the innocent Kenyans blood being shed.

He went on to that the ODM leader for showing his patriotism and looking for a solution because he did not have to do it.

Uhuru also gave special thanks to his Deputy William Ruto for being part and parcel of the handshake and making the BBI report.

He revealed the three agreed that they would never talk about elective posts as they aimed to unite Kenyans.

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