REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Government begins mass testing in risk areas Nairobi, Tuesday April 14, 2020

The government will roll out a mass testing exercise for coronavirus disease beginning with quarantine and high density areas.

The Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said the testing will  prioritize  quarantine centers, hotels,  isolation facilities , hospitals and high population density areas like Kibra. 

She disclosed that the first phase of the mass testing will see approximately 12,000 testing kits deployed to targeted areas in the next few days and 1000 testing kits to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), based on the risk of transmission identified by monitoring teams including Mandera and Siaya Counties.

She announced that Nairobi county has the highest number of people who have tested positive of coronavirus  now at 101, followed by Mombasa  34, Kilifi 10, Kiambu 7 and Mandera and Machakos which have 6 each. Other counties affected are Nakuru 5 cases, Kitui, Laikipia, Kajiado, Muranga, Kakamega, Nyandarua, Siaya  and Uasin Gishu  2 cases each while  Kisii, Homabay, Nyamira, Nyeri, Vihiga and Kwale have one case each.

She noted that the country is now witnessing a phenomenon where the virus is increasingly moving to the counties.  “We must work even more closely with our County Governments to tighten our control measures, harmonize our responses and mobilize our people to take an active role in this fight,” the CAS said. 

Dr. Mwangangi also confirmed that 694 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours, eight have tested positive for Coronavirus disease, bringing to 216 the total number of confirmed cases in the country. Five of the cases were Kenyans, 1 Briton, 1 Pakistan and 1 Ugandan. Six if the cases had a  history of travel from  UAE, UK, Pakistan, Zambia and Comoros, 6 of them from county of Nairobi, Siaya 1 and Nakuru 1.  

She also confirmed that six of the cases emanated from  the  mandatory quarantine centers, while two 2 were picked by surveillance teams. Dr. Mwangangi also reported that over the same period one person was discharged from hospital bringing the figure of recoveries to 41. So far a total of 2,331 contacts have been monitored, out of which 1,729 have been discharged and 602 contacts are being followed at the moment.

Meanwhile,  Dr. Mwangangi revealed that  the country is witnessing a spike in domestic violence, gender based violence and sexual offences across the country three times more than the normal .

“We are in constant communication with the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) and the National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ) has recorded an increase in cases of sexual violence perpetrated by close relatives and guardians,”she said and urged Kenyans to focus on fighting the virus and let the disputes to be handled within the civil structures.

“We want to remind everyone that the law has not been suspended, and that it will catch up with those who mete violence on others during this period,” she said.

She also argued that maintaining social distancing does not mean people cease communicating with each other. “During this period its important to engage each other through  the available social platforms, counsel each other, learn and have fun,” she advised.

The also cautioned those abusing the measures put in place and throwing house parties saying that the law will catch up with them.