Kakamega

By Prof John Muoma

As we move to the next level of the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to appreciate the importance of statistics in planning. The quadratic polynomial model which is preferred at the planning stage was to guide us for the first 30 days and true to itself it was in sync with the data availed with a reasonable margin of error.

Prof John Muoma

After the first 30 days, the model assumes we had put up structures in-terms of adequate test centres, availed testing material, set up clear tracing mechanism, established enough isolation centres, with adequate personnel to manage the treatment centres.

Could the authorisation to build a hospital in Wuhan China in a record 10 days followed by total lockdown been advised based on a point envisaged using a statistical model? Was it part of the plan in preparation of the exponential phase of the pandemic?

Could the authorisation to build a hospital in Wuhan China in a record 10 days followed by total lockdown been advised based on a point envisaged using a statistical model? Was it part of the plan in preparation of the exponential phase of the pandemic?

Prof John Muoma

After utilizing the first 30 days for planning, the model assumes that the study is able to test a statistically reasonable number of individuals who are representative of the population. At this point the tool assumes the infection rate is at an exponential level and Exponential model is of preference at this point of study according to https://ksmakhanu.blogspot.com/2020/03/predicting-covid-19-cases-in-kenya.html.

 The exponential model, predicts that the number of infected people at day 37 would be about 2,972 or there about instead of 262 as reported by the Kenyan government. A good reason to the concerned to review their approach so as to quickly move from the planning stage and start mass testing.

From the US experience where the government took long to respond, the outcome has been devastating with 37,000 deaths as of 19th April 2020 according to Harvard Global Institute.

The situation though could have been managed better with timely action. Currently in the US mass testing is ongoing with an increase in people tested and equally an increase in the number of recoveries. According to Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, “If you have a very high positive rate, it means that there are probably a good number of people out there who have the disease who you haven’t tested,”

Despite the need for more testing, the United States case has reached non-zero equilibrium point; what journalists are referring to as flattening out of the infection curve. This kind of infection curve informs the optimist that the number has reached a threshold and if managed well the curve may level off and dip downwards.

On the contrary, this could be a silent incubation period which if not managed well may explode and the infected cases may rise again. Both though true depends on the action plan put in place by the state in management when the point is attained.

CDC data indicate that 30 per cent of the Covid-19 cases are black despite making up 13 per cent of the population in the United States. A good number of Americans have access to good medical facilities and insurance: what will happen when the virus explodes in Kenya where only 20 per cent of the population have some form of medical insurance?

In Kenya, once we are able to test a statistically reasonable number of people, we will be moving towards the exponential phase, which requires better preparation. Hence, we will need more testing centres around the country, Equip the hospitals with ventilators and have better isolation facilities as some of the solutions to enable us mitigate the Covid 19 situation better in response to the model prediction of drastic increase in the infected cases.

CDC data indicate that 30 per cent of the Covid-19 cases are black despite making up 13 per cent of the population in the United States. A good number of Americans have access to good medical facilities and insurance: what will happen when the virus explodes in Kenya where only 20 per cent of the population have some form of medical insurance?

Basically the 80 per cent who don’t have medical insurance and reside in poor condition will be worst hit and may be victims of the virus. In the poor settlements the WHO requirements in terms of social Distancing, personal hygiene and keeping our environment clean will be hard to abide to due to overcrowding which will favour the spread of the virus.

The governments approach to cushion the low-income population by giving them financial support is timely and a welcome gesture. This will enable the beneficiaries get their basic needs going during the lockdown and probably prepare them better health wise to manage the pandemic.

An Immunologist and nutritional expert suggests that the government should consider giving them food supplement as a mitigation measure in preparation of the unknown especially for the elderly. This may enable the most vulnerable manage the upcoming situation better.

Prof. Muoma is a Professor of Plant Biotechnology and the current Director of Science Park, Innovation and Incubation Centre (SPIIC) at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust).

Ends

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