8,250 infected as mental health takes centre stage

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Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a past briefing on COVID-19. PHOTO | COURTESY

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday announced new 183 COVID-19 positive cases bringing the total number of infections to 8,250.

Speaking at Afya House in Nairobi, CS Kagwe said the new cases were recorded from 2,061 tests carried out in the last 24 hours, adding that the total number of tests conducted since the disease was first reported in the country now stands at 193,455.

Of the 183 patients, 177 are Kenyans, with 6 being foreigners and are composed of 119 males and 64 females between the ages of 4 and 79 years.

The new infections were confirmed in: Nairobi (100), Machakos (37), Kiambu (14), Mombasa (13), Kajiado (11), Nakuru (5), Busia (3).

The 100 cases in Nairobi are from various areas including: Westlands (30), Kibra (20), Dagoretti North (17), Lang’ata (8), Embakasi East (5), Embakasi South (5), Starehe (5), Makadara (5).

CS Kagwe also revealed that 90 patients were discharged from various health facilities across the country, hence the number of recoveries rose to 2,504.

Fatalities hit 167 after three more patients succumbed to the novel coronavirus.

“During this new phase that we have started in the fight against the disease, I want to make a special appeal to our people to exercise individual responsibility. Our cooperation and unity in this fight will enable us to overcome,” he said.

Mental Health Issues

The CS decried rising cases of mental health-related issues such as depression and suicide that were escalated by the pandemic in the country.

He lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts to mitigate the same through the formation of a taskforce to come up with solutions for the problems.

“Since this pandemic struck our country, it has caused a lot of anguish and suffering to our people. A good number of our people have checked in hospitals with mental health cases such as depression. We have also witnessed an increase in family and gender based violence,” said CS Kagwe.

“These psychosocial issues have compounded the problem of the current pandemic. The rising number of mental health related cases in the country, some of which have in fact ended up in suicide, have been a concern to this government and that is why the president ordered the formation of a taskforce with the primary mandate of studying the status of mental health in the country and recommend solutions to reform mental health systems.”

Dr. Frank Njenga who led the taskforce presented him with the final report which estimates that one in ten people suffer from common mental disorder.