Gov’t denies doctors’ claims of Covid resurgence

Written by on 28 March 2024

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has released a statement assuring Kenyans of its unwavering efforts to contain and manage influenza cases in the country.

This comes after a section of doctors raised concerns over the country’s increased rates of respiratory infections due to COVID-19.

In a statement shared on Thursday, March 28, 2024, Acting Director General for Health, Dr Patrick Amoth refuted the claims that the current surge in respiratory illnesses is attributed to a new SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) variant and clarified that cases of influenza were usually on the rise at this time of the year.

He additionally stated that the ministry has been monitoring SARS-CoV-2 cases with a focus on the new variant clade JNI since December last year.

“We wish to reassure the public that the ministry has a robust surveillance system that monitors the emergence and spread of flu and other pathogens of national, regional and global concern. The surveillance systems employed are passive surveillance (covering the entire country), sentinel surveillance (9 sites), Event Based Surveillance (8 counties), Integrated Facility Based Surveillance (12 sites), and Mortality Surveillance (10 sites). Among the pathogens monitored are those that have a high potential to cause epidemic flu such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza virus, and other pathogens that are implicated in upper and lower respiratory infections,

“None of these sites have reported an increase in the numbers of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) but increased cases of influenza have been reported,” Amoth said.


Further, Amoth advised Kenyans to take precautions such as avoiding close contact with sick people showing respiratory symptoms using coverings/facemasks in public spaces, washing hands with soap and water, and getting vaccinated against influenza among others.

The ministry, however, assured Kenyans that special attention will be applied to cases showing signs of breathing difficulties and suspected infections among children and aged pregnant women and people with coexisting conditions such as Cancer, Tuberculosis, HIV, Diabetes and Heart diseases.

“Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water, and use face masks/coverings when in public spaces. If possible, get vaccinated against influenza. Seasonal influenza vaccines are commercially available in Kenya,” the Ministry said.

“Influenza infections are typically self-limiting but may also result in severe disease or death, especially in people at high risk.”

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