COVID-19 caseload hits 435 as locally made ventilators are set to be launched into market next week

Mass testing in Kawangware. [Photo courtesy]

A total of 24 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the last 24 hours bring the total caseload to 435.

Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi said the bulk of the cases were confirmed in Nairobi – Kawangware (7), Eastleigh (10) – while Mombasa recorded 5 cases and Kuria West constituency in Migori County confirmed 2 cases.

The Migori patients have a history of travel from Tanzania. The 24 were from 1,195 samples tested by the Ministry of Health.

Two more people were discharged bringing the total number to 152 while coronavirus deaths remain at 21.

On Thursday, Heath CS Mutahi Kagwe raised a red flag over the high number of COVID-19 cases in Kawangware and Mombasa.

Kawangware so far has a total of 20 COVID-19 cases while Mombasa has 129 cases. Also on the radar is Eastleigh in Nairobi where the total caseload is now 21.

Rapid mass testing has since been rolled out in these areas. In Kawangware, it kicked off on Friday morning.

“Kawangware is an area under surveillance,” Dr Mwangangi stated.

In other news on coronavirus, the first locally developed ventilators are set to be released to the market from next week.

The ventilators have been developed by Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in collaboration with the County Government of Laikipia.

Government agencies required to certify the ventilators before they are released into the market – Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Kenya Poisons and Pharmacy Board, Kenyatta National Hospital and the Biomedical Equipment Unit at the Ministry of Health – will inspect the prototype next week.

“We had to agree on basic standards for ventilators so that they can be approved by relevant bodies. Laikipia County will, of course, be the first to benefit,” said Laikipia Health Executive Lenai Kimario.