Kenyan health officials on Thursday reported 335 new coronavirus infections in tests conducted in the last 24 hours and eight additional deaths, reported Anadolu Agency. The new infections were detected from a sample size of 5,424 tests.
About 97,733 people have been reported coronavirus positive in Kenya so far. The total fatalities from the virus have touched 1,702, the Kenyan health ministry tweeted.
The health authorities have conducted 1,075,673 tests in the East African nation of nearly 55 million people. The ministry also confirmed 340 recoveries, bringing the number of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to 80,306.
The virus, which was first being detected in China’s Wuhan last December, has claimed more than 1.88 million lives in 191 countries, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University. More than 87.5 million people have been infected worldwide.
In related news, Kenyan Health Minister, Mutahi Kagwe, on Thursday said the government has ordered 24 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca. The vaccine is expected to start arriving in the second week of February.
The vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and its partner Oxford University, have been tested by giving recipients two shots each, a few weeks apart.
Kagwe said that the Kenyan government has ordered the vaccines through an African Union initiative that is aimed at ensuring African nations are not left behind. He said that there will also be direct importation of the shots. The minister, however, did not give any information about dosing.
Kagwe said that the priority for vaccination will be given to health sector workers and other essential workers like security forces and teachers. He did not say how much the procurement of the vaccines would cost the government.
Earlier this week, the Kenyan government sacked 86 doctors for their refusal to resume work amid an ongoing strike since December.