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Coronavirus in Kenya: 22 quarantined at Mbagathi hospital

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Government officials on Saturday briefed the country on the coronavirus following confirmation of Kenya’s first case on Friday.

The patient is a 27 year-old Kenyan who travelled from the US via London.

The Health ministry said she is in a self-contained room at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

“The patient is stable, cheerful and vibrant with normal vital signs,” Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said.

On Friday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said she will not be released from KNH’s Infectious Disease Unit until she is confirmed negative.

QUARANTINE

Dr Mwangangi said 22 people who were in close contact with the infected person have been quarantined at Mbagathi hospital.

Samples collected from them are being tested at laboratories at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).

The ministry further said that 23 people of mixed nationalities who travelled with the patient were traced and advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The CAS said the people were identified through the flight manifest and are not in Kenya.

The ministry’s rapid response team will follow up on these cases and update the public daily.

On Saturday, a team from the ministry led by Public Health Deputy Director, Dr Fidelis Lagho, fumigated the building in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County, where the patient lives.

RESPONSE TEAM

Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said a Detection Committee was created under the National Emergency Response Committee.

It is made up of representatives from the World Health Organization, Amref, the Kenya Red Cross Society, the CDC, the University of Nairobi, World Bank Group, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the county and national governments.

“Our preparedness is at the highest level possible but we cannot get to 100 per cent if we do not involve the people. Therefore every Kenyan must be involved in prevention,” he said, noting the need to observe high standards of hygiene.

Via Twitter, he added, “The government continues to maintain heightened surveillance at all points of entry, health facilities and communities across the country. Members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and continue taking precautionary measures as advised.”

Colonel (Rtd) Oguna also asked Kenyans to only accept information from the government’s official channels.

“Fake and alarming videos on [the virus in Kenya] have been forwarded to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for investigations, arrest and prosecution of the individuals,” he said.

They can also receive information on the virus by dialling *719# on their Safaricom lines.

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