Kenya confirms first coronavirus case

Friday March 13 2020

Nurses wear protective gear at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi where an isolation and treatment centre for the new coronavirus was set up on March 6, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Elizabeth Merab

Kenya has confirmed its first Coronavirus case.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Friday said the patient is a Kenyan who travelled from US via London.

He said that although patient, a Kenyan, is stable and eating, she will not be released from hospital until she is confirmed negative.

The woman is at Kenyatta National Hospital's Infectious Disease Unit.

The government says it has traced all contacts the patient made since her arrival.

Consequently, Kenya has suspended all travel outside the country unless necessary.


Public gatherings are also suspended, including all inter-schools events.


CS Kagwe has invoked the Public Health Act which requires Kenyans to:

1. Maintain a distance of atleast 1 metre from persons who are coughing.
2. Those coughing and have fever and difficulty in breathing should stay at home.
3. All public gatherings, and events that have large gatherings.
4. Suspension of interschool events but schools will remain open.
5. Public transport operators will be required to regularly clean their vehicles and provide sanitizers to passengers.
6. Suspension of all visits to prisons for the next 30 days.
7. Kenyans have been warned against spreading misinformation
8. Unless absolutely necessary, travelling to affected countries have been banned.

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), whose epicentre was in Wuhan, China, has now killed nearly 5,000 people and infected more than 130,000 worldwide as at Friday.

It has spread to more that 120 countries across the globe.


Due to presence of the coronavirus case, all public gatherings, rallies, crusades, and meetings of a national nature have all been banned.

However, churches will continue to operate as usual as long they provide hand sanitisers to their congregants.

Interschool activities like drama, music festivals and sports have been also been banned.