Kenyas are suffering a sharp spike in Ebola-related deaths, with nearly half of all confirmed cases of the disease reported so far.
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that Kenyatta Kenyattu, the country’s vice president, had ordered a nationwide lockdown as the country faced a second outbreak.
Kenyatas have long suffered from a chronic underreporting of cases and deaths.
But this time, with a population of just over a million people, it has been particularly acute.
According to the World Health Organisation, the Ebola crisis in Kenyathas is the worst in Africa.
(AP: Adam McCollam) “Our data indicates that a third of all deaths in the country have occurred as a result of the Ebola outbreak,” said WHO director-general Margaret Chan in a statement on Wednesday.
“This is a very worrying situation for Kenyats.”
It comes amid signs that Kenya may have dodged a bullet by refusing to implement a government-backed quarantine law in order to allow people to travel home from West Africa.
Last week, the government said it would delay a vote on a bill that would have eased the quarantine laws.
It also said it had no plans to extend the emergency declaration, which would have allowed people to be allowed back to work, visit relatives or purchase goods and services from outside the country.
The country’s public health chief said on Tuesday that about half of Kenyata’s Ebola cases had been identified in the first week of the pandemic, while the rest had been traced to people traveling abroad.
That’s an increase from the first three weeks of the outbreak, when only two percent of cases had had their details checked.
The WHO said Wednesday that it was working with authorities in other parts of Kenya to provide better surveillance of people who had recently left the country and those returning home.