Kenya records 14 more virus cases, 3 other recoveries

Tuesday April 7 2020

Kenya's Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe

Kenya's Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe speaks during a press conference in Nairobi on April 1, 2020 . PHOTO | DENIS ONSONGO | NMG 

DAILY NATION
By DAILY NATION
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Kenya has announced 14 more cases of the Covid-19 disease, bringing the total of confirmed cases in the country to 172.

Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday said that 12 of the new patients are Kenyans and two foreigners.

He said four had been quarantined while 10 were identified during surveillance. Four of them had a history of travel.

Asked about the patients' severity of illness, Dr Patrick Amoth, acting Director-General in the Ministry of Health, said only one is under critical care.

INCREASED CAPACITY

Mr Kagwe said the 14 were among 696 people tested in the last 24 hours.

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"We have tested 4,923 people so far," he told a press conference.

The health minister noted that Kenya's capacity to test for the coronavirus and to monitor and trace contacts has increased.

As such, he said, the testing of all health workers and medical staff, including those in private hospitals and quarantine facilities, will begin immediately.

"We have a new reagent for automatic testing," he said, noting the tests will not be manual.

Regarding testing kits, the minister said 200,000 more will be available in seven days.

"I’m confident about our ability to supply the kits," he said.

CLUBS

While reiterating measures the public must take to prevent spread of the deadly virus, Mr Kagwe said social distancing must be observed.

He spoke specifically about open air sports clubs and hotels, saying the numbers of people visiting these facilities must be limited.

The minister also said golf clubs and club houses will be closed until further notice and that hotels should be closed once a case of the coronavirus is confirmed.

"Such a hotel must stop admitting guests," he said.

TOUGH MEASURES

Mr Kagwe further told reporters that the government will take sterner measures if necessary to curb spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the restriction of movement into and out of four affected counties—Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale—for three weeks.

This was in addition of a countrywide dusk to dawn to curfew that was effected on March 27.

Kagwe added that the Kenyatta's announcement of the restricted movement was partly informed by a case of the virus in Mandera, north-eastern Kenya, of a person who had travelled from Mombasa.

He reiterated that inter-county movement is discouraged.

WARNING

The minister told the public to "brace for bad news and be ready because all the measures we are taking won’t stop a disease that’s already here".

He said mortality may be low but that this is no reason to relax.

"We are preparing for the worst...be ready to face insurmountable realities... be ready mentally," he said.

"Be ready to face a situation we haven’t faced before. I know we will pull through based on the support from all quarters," he added.

The Covid-19 disease has killed at least 76,383 people worldwide since it was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.

At least 1,363,123 infections and 293,833 recoveries have been reported globally, according to Worldometer's count on Tuesday.

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