2.7 million Kenyans are likely to have been already exposed to COVID-19 according to a study by the Kenya Medical Research Institute and Wellcome Trust.
According to the data, as many as 12.4 percents of Nairobi residents are likely to be carrying the virus by now and with the city’s population estimated at 4.5 million then more than 550,000 residents in Nairobi are likely to be carrying the infection.
When the Ministry of Health begun making calls for Kenyans to donate blood and they responded in big numbers, most of the blood has been found to be containing SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) antibodies
Among those that donated blood in Nairobi, 12.4 percent were found to be containing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
In Western Kenya, where 11 counties namely Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Siaya, Vihiga, Busia, Kericho, Bomet and Kakamega are 400,000 residents are estimated to already have been exposed to COVID-19.
In Rift Valley, where there are 13 counties namely Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans-nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Baringo, Laikipia, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kericho and Bomet, 500,000 people are believed to have been exposed to COVID-19.
The estimates formed from the blood samples from several places across the country reveal a huge gap between the confirmed COVID-19 cases and the number of Kenyans exposed to the virus according to Kenya Medical Research.
In Kisumu County, 7.5 percent of the samples tested were COVID-19 positive with researchers concluding that it is likely more than 90,000 people in Kisumu have been exposed to COVID-19.
The estimation comes at a time when Kenyans are concerned about the increased numbers of asymptomatic patients raising doubt on whether the patients really have the virus at all.
Experts estimate that in all COVID-19 cases, 78 percent of the patients are asymptomatic even as the Ministry of Health notes that Kenya is now on the virus’ peak season which is expected to near an end in September 2020.
Mombasa is the worst-hit county given its population versus the number of positive COVID-19 cases it has reported.
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) July 2, 2020
“We may not be representatively sampling the country’s population” the study notes arguing the blood samples were still not as much as required to make a solid argument.
“Testing a sample of the population for antibodies tells us how many people have been exposed to the virus,” it says.
Kenya has 6,941 COVID-19 cases, by 2nd July 2020, since the first case was recorded on March 13th, 2020, and has tested 176,659 samples in total with its testing capability still at a low of 1000 to 3000 samples in 24 hours.