The Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe has confirmed that upto now, four people have tested positive for coronavirus.
Here is the press statement on the update of coronavirus in the country and response measures:
“Good afternoon Members of the Press.
On Sunday March 15, 2020, the Government received confirmation of two more cases of Coronavirus in Kenya which brought the number of those who had tested positive to three.
The first case of this deadly disease was reported in our country on March 12, 2020 which we promptly relayed the information to the public through His Excellency President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.
Today we have received confirmation of another case of the Coronavirus following tests carried out to a patient in one of our private facilities. This now brings the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the country to four.
The latest case was confirmed today at our National Influenza Centre Laboratory. The patient is reported to have travelled from London, United Kingdom on 8th March, 2020 arriving in the country on 9th March, 2020. Tracing of persons who may have come into contact with the patient is ongoing.
You will also recall that when we got confirmation of the first case on March 12, 2020 a total of 27 persons who had come into contact with the patient were traced, quarantined and tested. Two of the contacts tested positive for COVID-19.
Results of the 25 plus an additional 23 other persons who have been tested have all turned negative. All the 23 are from Mbagathi hospital. We have cleared them to self quarantine at home. So far our laboratories at KEMRI and the National Influenza Centre have tested a total of 111 cases since this pandemic struck in the country.
For the two additional Coronavirus cases, a total of 36 of their contacts have been traced and our surveillance team is monitoring them.
i. On 15th March 2020, His Excellency the President directed as follows:
a. Travel from any countries with any case of Corona virus be restricted.
b. Only Kenyan Citizens, and any foreigners with valid residence permits will
be allowed to come into the country provided they proceed on self
quarantine or to a government designated quarantine facility.
c. All schools and higher learning institutions be closed by Friday March 20, 2020 this week.
d. Government and businesses encourage to have people work from home; except essential services.
e. Encourage cashless transactions over cash. Cost of transactions to be reduced.
f. Avoid congressional meetings – weddings, malls, night clubs, churches, limitation of visits to hospitals.
g. Hospitals and Shopping malls to give soap and water/hand sanitizers, and ensure regular cleaning of facilities.
- In order to mitigate loss being suffered by our economy,cargo vessels, aircrafts or ships can come into the country provided they are disinfected at point of departure and the crew quarantined on arrival.
- In order for the UN Headquarters in Kenya to continue operating diplomats travelling to the UN are also exempted from the travel restrictions but must observe the self-quarantine rule.
We continue to emphasise that members of the public are encouraged to remain vigilant as the risk of spread is high and are advised to continue taking precautionary measures which include:
i. Maintain basic hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices.
ii. Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
iii. In addition, anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing and sneezing with a history of recent travel to any of the affected countries is advised to go to the nearest health facility for assessment and prompt management.
iv. In addition, anyone with recent history of travel to the affected countries or who have come in close contact with confirmed case are strongly advised to self- quarantine for 14 days and promptly report to the nearest health facility in case they develop any of the above symptoms.
v. WE ARE ALSO MAKING A SPECIAL APPEAL FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO UTILISE THE TOLL FREE NUMBER 719 WHENEVER THEY WANT TO REPORT A CASE AS OPPOSED TO CALLING EVERYONE AT THE MINISTRY.
We continue to appeal to our fellow Kenyans to remain calm and as His Excellency the President assured that this is a crisis that we shall overcome if we stay united.”
Hon Mutahi Kagwe, EGH