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Kenya confirms its first case of coronavirus

Kenya has confirmed its first Coronavirus case today. Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Friday said the virus was confirmed on a 27 year old female student who traveled in from the United States via London, United Kingdom.

She is said to have landed in the country on March 5, 2020, and was returning from the US to Nairobi via London.

The patient was confirmed positive by the national influenza lab and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

“This was a lady who was living on her own, I want to thank her because she has put citizen responsibility to the test,” Mr Kagwe said. He added that the moment the lady started feeling unwell, she went to the hospital.

“This is an import, it is not a homegrown case. So we are hoping that it is an isolated case and we can tackle it,” he stated. He said that although the patient, a Kenyan, is stable and eating, she will not be released from hospital until she is confirmed negative.

According to the CS, the ministry has contacted other people who were in the same flight with the quarantined patient for testing.

Mr Kagwe stated that measures are underway to conduct a proper search for all the people the victim was in contact with and all the names of the people who sat next to her during her flights and the relevant information have been recovered.

“Let us not lose sight, that what we have is a coronavirus positive test, and she is stable, she is eating very well. She is even talking to us.” 

“There is no cause for alarm, Kenyans should continue with regular activities,” Mr Kagwe added. 

Following the announcement and the classification of Coronavirus as a pandemic, Mr Kagwe suspended all travel outside the country ‘unless necessary.’

The Health Secretary said all County Hospitals which are categorized as Level IV and V will have an Isolation Ward courtesy of funds released by the Ministry of Health and the World Bank.

The officials from the ministry will from Monday commence regular public sensitization campaigns on the coronavirus disease. 

“We will be conducting training at bus stops from 10am-4pm,” he stated.