REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Government confirms eight new cases of Coronavirus rising the number 50

 

Nairobi, Monday   March 30, 2020 –  The number of coronavirus cases in Kenya have risen to 50 after eight new more cases were announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe today.

The eight cases were confirmed following a mass testing of 2050 people who are in mandatory quarantine, out of which 172 were tested, 84 sampled and one confirmed positive.

An additional testing of 88 persons of close contacts  of the 42 cases also confirmed  six cases, while  one  other case was confirmed from the Aga Khan hospital bringing the number to eight.

The eight cases were spread in various counties as far as Kitui which recorded one case, Nairobi six cases and Mombasa one case. Nairobi now has majority of cases amounting to 34, followed by Kilifi six , Mombasa  three and Kwale and Kajiado one each.

“This  data evidently shows  that the virus is now being spread  through  community  transmission  and  calls for a lot more personal responsibility among Kenyans in this fight against the disease, ” the CS said.

Kagwe explained that community transmission means that the disease is no longer imported from outside but it’s here with us and we are spreading it among ourselves and this means we must now raise our level of alert and intervention measures.

In order to protect the youth who are in the boda boda industry, the government  has directed all bodaboda riders to carry only one passenger so as to maintain some level of distance. The boda boda rider and the passenger must also wear masks for protection.

“We shall be spreading out the masks in all counties shortly for use by the boda boda riders,” the CS said and called upon the boda boda association leaders to oversee the process and ensure its implementation while the police enforce the same.

The CS also urged the employers to ensure they release their employees from the work places by 4.00 p.m to enable them make travel arrangements to their houses before the 7.p.m curfew.

He also noted that since majority of the elderly reside from upcountry, the Government is discouraging people who stay in Nairobi against travelling upcountry during this period.

“Statistics have shown that majority of our elderly people live upcountry, and that they are likely to get exposed, as it happened in Italy by this kind of movements. I am therefore calling upon those who live in Nairobi to stay in Nairobi and keep your social distance,” he said.

The CS also clarified that only Cargo flights are being allowed into the country to ensure that the economy is cushioned from the hard realities being faced because of  coronavirus disease.

“Most of these planes are bringing in medicine among other items for use in the country and not carrying any passengers,” he said and noted that there are other flights that will be landing in the country without passengers to evacuate foreign nationals.

He also clarified that tracing of contacts for the 50 confirmed cases is ongoing. The total number of close contacts that the government has so far been monitoring stands at 1474 and out of which 231 have been discharged after completing the  mandatory 14 day follow up period.

The Acting Director General Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth added that Kenya’s advantage in fighting coronavirus is in the youthful population and if they were to have positives, it could be a mild illness.

He however noted that on the contrary, the spread can also work against the nation because of the weak health system, the high burden of HIV and non communicable diseases.

He also confirmed that the Ministry of Health has done a modelling to see the kind of numbers the country might have as its moves along.

“Although the virus is not following a particular trend, our modelling puts us at 1000 cases by the first week of April, Postulate 5000 cases by Mid- April and Potentially 10,000 cases by 30th of April,” he said and explained that this is the figure that the government is working with as it propositions the test kits, human resource and isolation and quarantine facilities.

Dr. Amoth also noted that the government has agreed to be testing those in quarantine after the 8th day and yesterday they tested 142 cases but will go ahead and increase the number of people being tested on a daily basis  since the laboratory has a capacity to sample 300 cases within 24 hours. By next week, Dr Amoth said Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital ( (MTRH) will be ready to carry out additional testing capacity.

 

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addressing a press conference on update of coronavirus at Afya House today and confirmed that one more person tested positive making a total of 50 cases in the Country.