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Kenya Confirms First COVID-19 Infection

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VOA 13 MAR 2020

NAIROBI – Kenya on Friday confirmed its first coronavirus case — a 27-year-old Kenyan national who was studying abroad.   

In a press briefing on national television, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the patient is a woman who returned from the United States via London last week.   

“The government has traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya,” Kagwe said. “Kenyans are reminded that all people who become infected will experience only mild illness and recover easily, but the disease can be more severe in others, especially the elderly persons and others with chronic illnesses.”

Kagwe said the patient was in a stable condition and that her temperature had returned to normal.

The minister said Kenya was taking additional measures to prevent the virus from spreading further, including prohibiting travel to high-risk countries that have numerous cases of the virus, known as COVID-19.

“We have suspended all public gatherings, meetings, religious crusades, games and all events that are of a huge public nature,” Kagwe said. “Normal church services can go on provided they provide sanitizing and hand washing as people go into the worshiping areas. We have suspended all interschool events, school to school events. But the schools at this moment remain open.”

Kenya is the 11th sub-Saharan African country to confirm the coronavirus since the December outbreak in Wuhan, China.  

The coronavirus has since become a pandemic, infecting more than 128,000 people globally — close to 5,000 of those infected have died.   

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