Kenya's COVID-19 cases surpass 20,000

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NAIROBI, July 31 (Xinhua) -- A total of 723 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Kenya on Friday, raising the national tally to 20,636 as preparations to resume international flights on Saturday went into top gear.

Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary for health, said that 700 Kenyans and 23 foreigners were confirmed positive to the disease after 8,679 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, bringing cumulative tests to 303,959.

"We continue to record high numbers of positive cases and that is why we are pleading that you must take care of yourself," Kagwe said at a briefing in Nairobi.

He said that 16 people succumbed to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of fatalities to 341 amid concerns that young people with no pre-existing health conditions had become the latest victims.

Kagwe said that some of the patients who succumbed to the disease were aged below 30 years and had no history of chronic ailments.

"You must not be an old person or with diabetes to get COVID-19. It does not discriminate," said Kagwe, adding that flouting of containment measures by the urban youth was undermining the war against the pandemic.

He said that 450 men and 273 women had tested positive to COVID-19, and the age of patients ranged from nine months to 87 years, while an additional 44 had recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 8,165.

Kagwe said the ministry of health had developed guidelines to ensure that resumption of international travel does not jeopardize the war against COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya.

"Categorization of what passengers will be subjected to is based on risk assessment of the COVID-19 situation in the various countries people arrive from or travel to," said Kagwe.

He said the government will introduce a mobile application to enable passengers to fill their details with ease and avoid crowding at the country's main airports.

"These details will assist in tracing should it be necessary," said Kagwe, adding that travel guidelines will be subject to regular adjustment given the evolving nature of COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that Kenya has effectively deployed contact tracing infrastructure to the devolved units amid spike in local transmission of the disease. Enditem

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