Kenya: Raila Tests Positive for Covid, Responding Well to Treatment

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga will spend Wednesday night in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 at a city hospital.

Mr Odinga is battling the virus at The Nairobi Hospital where he admitted on Tuesday after developing “fatigue”, according to his family.

“Following my letter of the 10th of March 2021, we have confirmed that Rt. Hon. Odinga has SARS-2 Covid-19,” his personal doctor David Olunya said in a statement to newsrooms.

“He is responding well to the treatment he is receiving… and remains upbeat. We are continuing to monitor his progress.”

Mr Odinga, who authorised his medical team to make his status public, later said the Covid-positive finding followed “numerous and complicated tests on me for the last two days”.

In good shape

“While the tests were several, one important result… is that I have been found to have been exposed to Covid-19,” he said in a statement.

“Despite the fact that I feel strong and in good shape after a few days in hospital, I have agreed with my doctors to undertake the mandatory quarantine”.

The ODM leader, who skipped a planned ceremony at State House to mark the third anniversary of the March 9, 2018 Handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta after being taken ill, becomes the highest profile political leader in the country to contract the virus.

Corona, now in its third wave, has so far claimed 1,899, according to Health ministry statistics.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday confirmed the third wave, with the Council of Governors asking Mr Kenyatta to impose a 30-day ban on all political gatherings in his address today.

On Wednesday, Kenya recorded the highest number of infections in a day since January– at 829 from 6,239 samples as the total infections since March last year rising to 111,185.

Safety protocols

The positivity rate stood at 13.3 per cent from Wednesday’s 13.6 percent.

Speaking when she appeared before the National Assembly’s Health Committee on Wednesday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said all the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in Nairobi were occupied.

“We are seeing an increase in hospital and ICU admissions. As of yesterday, all ICUs in Nairobi were full,” she said.

The ODM leader echoed Mr Kagwe’s call on Kenyans to continue observing the safety protocols put in place to contain further spread of the virus.

They include washing hands or applying alcohol-based sanitiser, social distancing and masking.