Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday updated the country on the Covid-19 disease in the country, saying nine more people had tested positive for the virus.
President Kenyatta said this raised the total number of confirmed cases in Kenya, since the virus was first reported on March 13, to 234.
He said the number of recoveries remained 53, as announced by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in the daily update on Wednesday, and that the number of deaths had risen to 11.
The President said the nine new patients were among 704 people who were tested in the last 24 hours.
He also announced that nearly 1,000 people were under quarantine while at least 156 were in isolation facilities.
Efforts to protect Kenyans from the virus have so far seen President Kenyatta issue orders for a nationwide 7pm to 5am curfew, cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties and the suspension of international flights.
In his address from State House in Nairobi on Thursday, the President added that:
1. The Health and Public Service ministries will develop a welfare package to cushion frontline health workers.
2. The Education ministry will take steps to protect students from negative impacts of measures taken against Covid-19.
3. The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority will waive for three months, the requirement for counties to purchase locally manufactured personal protective equipment.
4. Identified needy households in Nairobi and will be the initial beneficiaries of the government stipend to cushion vulnerable Kenyans.
5. Parliament will consider the legislative proposals in the house towards economic relief.
6. To ensure donations are distributed in a safe manner, the Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund and relevant security agencies will coordinate initiatives such as the Adopt a Needy Family Programme, through which Kenyans are helping each other during the pandemic, to ensure responsiveness and no bureaucracy.
7. Any police officer who breaches the law while implementing measures to curb spread of the virus will face harsh sanctions.
Meanwhile, Kenya received nearly 40,000 testing kits on Wednesday amid steps to increase its testing capacity in line with the three-fold approach of testing, isolating and treating.
The Health ministry announced on Wednesday that the country had received 18,900 swabs and viral transport medium, 18,912 extraction kits, 3,790 disposable protective clothing for medical workers, thermometer guns, medical gloves and ventilation machines from Chinese businessman Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group.
The minister said Kenya had also received consignments of gloves, face shields, gowns and surgical masks from China, France and Germany through the World Health Organization (WHO).
The coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.
Since then, it has quickly spread across the world and infected at least 2,096,573 people, according to Worldometer's tally on April 16.
The total number of deaths was 135,662 and that of recoveries 523,322 as of April 16, while the number of active cases stood at 1,437,589 with 96 per cent of the conditions being mild and the rest - 51,042 - critical.
Worldometer's count showed that the number of closed cases was 658,984, 79 per cent or 523,322 of which was the number of recoveries.
In Africa, the number of infections was 18,082 and the deaths 915.