by David Karani
The first case of coronavirus in Kenya has been confirmed and a woman who travelled from US to Nairobi via London is the victim.
Announcing the development, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the patient, a Kenyan woman who had flown in from Ohio, USA, via London to Nairobi tested positive on Thursday.
Kagwe said she had been isolated at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, and was in stable condition.
The government has taken preventative measures and is monitoring the patient… who is stable,” said Mr Kagwe.He said the government was tracing all the people who had come into contact with the patient to contain the spread.He directed that those coughing and have fever and difficulty in breathing should stay at home.
The CS said Kenyans could go on with their activities as usual provided they observed all the hygiene rules — such as keeping away from those who are coughing and also washing their hands regularly. “What we have is a positive patient no more than that so there is no cause for alarm.”
Following the confirmation of the first case, the government has banned all public gatherings including religious jamborees locally known as “crusades” and inter-school events as it monitors the situation.
“All religious crusades, gatherings, meetings interschool events and all events that of huge public nature have been suspended,” he ordered.
Kagwe, however, said normal services in churches and schools could go on provided hygiene is observed.The CS also directed the public transport providers to immediately start providing hand sanitisers for their passengers and carry out regular cleanings on their vehicles to curb the spread.
“Public transports providers [are] directed to provide hand sanitisers for clients and regular cleaning for their vehicles to passengers.”
CS Kagwe said all travels have been suspended more so to the affected countries to curb the spread.
“Unless absolutely necessary, travelling to affected countries have been banned,” he said
He said they had consulted with the Transport ministry and put measures in place to ensure safety of Kenyans travelling in PSV vehicles. Also suspended is the visit to prisons for the next 30 days as the ministry monitors the situation.
Kagwe urged Kenyans to be cautious not to misuse social media to sptead misinformation about the disease.“Kenyans must not misuse social media to spread misinformation that can cause fear,” he said.
“We shouldn’t look at the government, Kenyans must take responsibility to curb the spread… like providing handwashing points,” he added.