Coronavirus: British PM tests positive as US becomes most hit country in the world

by David Karani

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his health minister Matt Hancock have both tested positive for the coronavirus in a dramatic day in the world as United States overtook China as the country with the highest figure of the pandemic’s cases.\

This comes on the night Kenya starts observing a dusk to dawn curfew with its coronavirus cases standing at 31 following the first death of its patient who tested positive for the pandemic.

In Europe, Spain has seen a sharp rise in the number of deaths caused by coronavirus but the rate of new infections is stabilising, officials say.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, rose to 64,059, a 14% increase compared with 18% a day earlier and 20% on Wednesday.

In 24 hours, 769 people died in Spain, a daily record, taking the total to 4,858.

Nursing home residents are particularly affected. Spain is Europe’s second-worst-hit country after Italy.

The Spanish government has extended the state of emergency until at least 12 April. People’s movement are severely restricted and most shops and businesses closed.

The latest figures raised hopes that the measures were beginning to take effect. Health emergency chief Fernando Simón said they showed a “clear stabilisation” and that it seemed they were “approaching the long-awaited peak”.

Across the country, the army has been deployed to deep-clean hospitals and other facilities – including some 900 nursing homes where at least 1,517 deaths have been recorded.

Hospitals have been under intense pressure, and the number of confirmed cases included 9,444 health workers. For days, doctors, nurses and other frontline personnel have complained of inadequate protective equipment.

The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 86,000 positive tests.

According to the latest figures collated by Johns Hopkins University, the US has overtaken China (81,897 cases) and Italy (80,589).

But with over 1,300 Covid-19-related fatalities, the US death toll lags behind China (3,296) and Italy (8,215).

The grim milestone came as President Donald Trump predicted the nation would get back to work “pretty quickly”.

Meanwhile, the nationwide curfew announced Wednesday in Kenya will start this evening with the CS saying no new positive cases doesn’t mean we should relax.

Mr Kagwe said curfew will cause inconvenience and it’s regrettable but necessary.

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai said the curfew will apply to entire country every day from 7pm until 5am until further notice.  

All persons present in Kenya shall remain indoors within said period with the exception of those proving 20 essential services as outlined in the Kenya Gazette.

The order prohibits public movement individuals or groups with those found violating the curfew to be arrested and charged in court.

The police will be in operation this evening and will put roadblocks across the country.  

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has announced that people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Kenya remain at 31.

Mr Kagwe said two of the patients are admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital in critical condition – a French national and a Kenyan, both male.

He said that 156 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours and all have tested negative and, therefore, the total confirmed cases remain 31.

He said the cases are spread out across five counties where Nairobi has 21 cases, Kilifi (six), Mombasa (two), Kaijiado (one) and  Kwale (one).

Of the positive cases, 19 are male and 12 are female.

He added that 136 people have been discharged after completing the mandatory 14-day follow up, while five at Mbagathi Hospital are waiting test results, saying 752 people have been tested so far.

The CS also announced that the government will embark on mass testing of more than 2,000 persons who arrived in the country last Sunday and are under mandatory quarantine.

This will be done along WHO guidelines and in accordance with one’s arrival date.

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