KENYA: Government Confirms First COVID-19 Case

NAIROBI, MARCH 13, 2020 (CISA)- the Government of Kenya has confirmed the first case of Corona virus infection in the country, and called on citizens to exercise measures that will prevent its spread.

“I want to inform you that the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first corona virus case in Kenya. The case was confirmed on March 12, which was last night as the first one to be reported in Kenya since the beginning of the outbreak in China. The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on March 5 2020,” Dr. Mutahi Kagwe Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of health said in a March 13 press Conference.

The patient was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

“The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, continues to strengthen measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease in Kenya. The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus preparedness and response will continue to provide strategic leadership working through whole Government approach to respond to this case in the implementation of mitigation measures,” the statement reads.

“I wish to assure all Kenyans that we have been beefing up our preparedness
capacities since the first confirmed cases in China. The Government will use all the
available resources to respond to this case,” he added.

According to the statement, the government has already traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya, calling on Kenyans not to panic as most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, although the disease can be more severe in others especially the elderly and persons with other chronic illnesses.

The ministry has advised all Kenyans to take preventive measures like regularly and thoroughly washing hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (5 feet) away from anyone coughing or sneezing.

“Persons with a cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance but avoid mixing with others in a crowd. Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with a handkerchief, tissue, or into a flexed elbow. Stay at home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing,” he said.

In addition the ministry has called for forthwith suspension of all public gatherings, meetings and events and all inter – school events.

Public transport providers are also directed to provide hand sanitizers for their clients.