Three fresh cases of coronavirus were confirmed last Wednesday bringing the number patients found with the highly contagious COVID 19 in the country to seven.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said all the trio had a history of having travelled from outside the country a fortnight ago before they exhibited symptoms of the deadly virus.
He told a press briefing at Afya House that tests carried out by the National Influenza Centre and KEMRI revealed that the three including a couple who had travelled from Madrid in Spain on the 4th of March through Dubai and arrived on the 5th were infected.
Kagwe said third case was a Burundian national who had also travelled from Dubai and arrived in Kenya on the 17th of March 2020.
“This Burundian was picked out by our surveillance team during the routine checkup at JKIA and found to have high temperatures,” Kagwe said.
The CS reaffirmed and assured all that Kenyan experts are able to screen and pick out and also determine all cases and reiterated the latest patient as a case in point.
He however added that authorities are in the process of tracing persons, who may have come into contact with the patients.
Currently he said that 18 cases are admitted at Mbagathi isolation centre, seven others have been screened and tested negative while samples from 11 suspected cases are being processed in the two designated laboratories.
“The seven who tested negative will be discharged and proceed on self-quarantine and will also be monitored health experts,” he said.
The CS made a special appeal to Kenyans who are travelling from outside the country to understand that the virus is a clear threat and that those coming in have to self-quarantine.
“Most of them have complied but now we want to appeal to the general public that if you know of an individual who has agreed to self-quarantine and they are not, report to the toll free number,” he said.
“It is an offence that is punishable by a jail term for one to say they will self-quarantine and they do not do so,” the CS said while adding that for those who will not adhere to this, they will be quarantined forcibly and then charged in a court of law.
The government, he assured continues to improve the level of preparedness for the disease and added that today for the first time, health experts from 20 African countries including Kenya, held a video conference with doctors from China to brainstorm, sharing knowledge on the disease and said this will go a long way in assisting people.
Kagwe said that each country has received essential kits needed for testing of Coronavirus according to their request.
“Despite global shortages of various kits, in Kenya we keep on searching and have not run out of any kits yet since some businesses in the country have been bringing in some of the approved kits by WTO,” Kagwe said.
Commenting on hand sanitizers, Kagwe said that the government has infused measures in conjunction with KEMRI who are working with sugar companies to produce ethanol and added soon the market will be saturated with sanitizers.
Meanwhile, the Acting Director General Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth confirmed that a patient who had been discharged from the hospital after testing negative was taken back after developing symptoms.
The DG said currently the health experts are following 85 contacts.
By Wangari Ndirangu