Has Covid19 shifted to the rural Areas?

Has Covid19 shifted to the rural Areas?

Dr Richard Ayah

Ministry of Health in their daily briefing reported 151 new covid19 cases in the last 24 hours after 2,552 tests. No deaths were reported in the same period. What may be of interest is the number of positive cases reported for Kitui County – 54, the previous highest in the county, being 41 on 15th August 2020. On only two previous occasions since the pandemic broke out – on 20/8-2020 (13) and 1/9/2020 have the number of cases in the county been in double figures.

Reported Covid19 Cases in Kitui County 1st April to 8th September 2020

Covid19 can be said to have affected the counties differently reflecting different risk factors; including population factors and health system strengths and weaknesses including testing capacity. Based on number of cases reported on a per capita basis since 1st April (prior to that Ministry of Health did not always give county breakdowns) the counties can roughly be divided into four groups.

The first group consists of seven counties Nairobi, Mombasa, Kajiado, Busia, Kiambu, Machakos and Lamu with covid19 cases per million population ranging from 4,462 to 764. Lamu county despite having reported only 110 cases is in this group because it has a relatively small population of just 144,000 persons. Nairobi and Mombasa have been the centre of covid19 cases but also where most testing has happened.

Top 5 Counties: Covid19 Cases per million and No of Cases as at 7/9/2020

The next group of counties have 200-500 Covid19 cases per million persons capita and include Kisumu, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, which include the cities of Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret. The group also includes Narok, Isiolo, Kericho, Nyeri, Migori, Garissa, Taita Taveta and Laikipia.

Counties ranked 8-18: Covid19 Cases per million and No of Cases as at 7/9/2020

The third group of counties are an assortment ranging from the relatively small Tharaka-Nithi and Kirinyaga counties to the expansive Samburu. It is within this group that Kitui county has reported the largest number of cases today 7th September.

Counties ranked 19-29: Covid19 Cases per million and No of Cases as at 7/9/2020

The final group have to date reported relatively few cases, less than 100 cases per million population.

18 counties with less than 100 Covid19 cases per million population as at 7/9/2020

To be sure that the curve is on the downward trend there may be a need to conduct some community testing to ascertain that we do not have a persistent transmission many months into 2021.

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