Soon after the Coronavirus hit Kenya in March 2020, the Government initiated mass COVID-19 testing but soon scaled down the testing citing reagents stock-out. The Health Cabinet Secretary confirmed the shortage in his August 10, 2020, daily COVID-19 update, saying that as it sought the help of embassies to secure reagents, the government had directed the Kenya Medical Research Institute to manufacture coronavirus testing reagents as a global shortage persists. The Ministry of Health, as a strategy, prioritised the testing of the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and patients presenting symptoms. The daily updates by the Ministry continue to give new infection numbers, pointing to the need to test as many people to curb the spread, especially asymptomatic patients who risk spreading it to unsuspecting citizens. The shortage has been causing delays in releasing results for samples picked from across the Counties, with some patients succumbing to the virus due to late treatment, especially if they had underlying conditions. The decline in testing also affects actual infection numbers since widespread testing can provide a better picture of the spread of COVID-19.
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