Kenya steps up surveillance amid Coronavirus fears

Wednesday January 22 2020

A quarantine station measures passenger body temperatures at Narita Airport on January 16, 2020. China reported 17 new cases of the mysterious SARS-like virus on Sunday. PHOTO | STR | JIJI PRESS | AFP

By Elizabeth Merab

Kenya has stepped up surveillance for coronavirus at all its ports of entry. The Ministry of Health has announced that passengers from China, where there is an outbreak, will be screened for the virus.  

The ministry has also said that it is waiting for further guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO).  

The international health agency’s emergency committee is expected to make a decision on whether it will categorise the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.


“As a country, we have sent an alert to all the 47 counties through county directors. We have also heightened surveillance at all points of entry and screening has started,” said Acting Public Health Director-General Patrick Amoth at the launch of the Kenya Harmonized Health Facility Assessment report on Wednesday.

The country has big business relations with China, at least three flights land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where the country’s national carrier Kenya Airways operates two non-stop flights between Nairobi and Guangzhou.


“For that reason, we have begun screening all passengers coming into the country from China,” Dr Amoth added.