Scientists and doctors now say Kenya could be in the eye of a Covid-19 storm, estimating that the number of people exposed to the virus to be 2.7 million.

Blood samples from several places across the country show that there could be a huge gap between confirmed cases and the number of people exposed to coronavirus.

The data is contained in a study by the Kenya Medical Research Institute and Wellcome Trust.

It found that as many as 12.4 percent of Nairobi residents could be having the virus.

With a population of about 4.5 million, it means slightly more than 550,000 city dwellers could be infected.

According to the study, the prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 among blood donors ranged from 1.1 percent in Uasin Gishu to 12.4 percent in Nairobi.

Some 500,000 people in the Rift Valley and 400,000 in western Kenya could have been exposed to the virus, it adds. There is no data from the northern parts of the country.

In Kisumu, the third-largest town in Kenya, some 7.5 percent of the samples tested positive.

It means as many as 90,000 people could have been exposed to coronavirus.

The researchers relied on 2,535 blood samples donated between April 30 and June 16.

They say Kenya should expect “severe disease…though this has not yet happened”.

The report does not say why this is the case though the country has reported a rising number of Covid-19 asymptomatic cases, leading to the government announcing a home-based care model

“in order to stop the health system from being overwhelmed by the pandemic”.

It is estimated that 78 percent of patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.