Kenya coronavirus cases hit 42 as more test positive

Monday March 30 2020

Health secretary Mutahi Kagwe. FILE PHOTO |

Health secretary Mutahi Kagwe. FILE PHOTO | NMG   

BUSINESS DAILY
By BUSINESS DAILY
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The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Kenya rose to 42 on Sunday with the Health secretary Mutahi Kagwe warning of dire times ahead.

The four are a Kenyan, an American national, one from Cameroon and Burkina Faso while 1,426 people who came into close contact with the 42 remain under close monitoring by the Ministry of Health.

The four new cases were confirmed from 69 samples tested on Saturday amid fears that the country is headed for dire days as Mr Kagwe said the health facilities could be stretched.

"It is very likely and possible that going forward, our health facilities can be overrun and this is not a government issues alone. If in Italy and America with their facilities have been overran, is it hard to imagine this can happen in Kenya?" he said.

The State is racing against time to forestall an overstretched healthcare system and is set to hire 1, 000 currently unemployed medical personnel this week as it beefs up the staff numbers to cope with the increasing cases.

Kenya last week, he said, received 250 ventilators from World Bank days after receiving 25,000 testing kits and protective from Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

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Nairobi leads with 31 confirmed cases followed by Kilifi that has six while Mombasa has three. Kajiado and Kwale counties each have one case as rising fears of the virus spreading across the country mount.

Mr Kagwe, however, hit out at politicians whom he said are spreading lies and sending the nation into panic.

"Trying to gain political mileage out of disease is immoral, it is the worst we can do as a society," the Health secretary said on Sunday.

Kenya last week recorded its first death from the virus after the death of a 66-year-old man at the Aga Khan intensive care unit last Thursday.

The state started a daily curfew beginning last Friday from 7pm to 5am to curtail the spread of the virus, a measure taken after Kenyans failed to heed instructions to stay at home and avoid public gatherings.