Sixteen out of the 530 cases sampled for Covid 19 testing over the last 24 hours have turned positive bringing the number of those infected with the highly contagious viral disease to 142.
Health Ministry Chief Administrative Officer (CAS) Dr. Mercy Mwangagi said out of the confirmed cases last Sunday, 15 were Kenyans while one was a Nigerian national and that 11 of the fresh infections had a history of traveling back into the country recently.
She told the daily update on the status of the pandemic in the country that five of the new infections were locally transmitted an indication that the viral infection was fast spreading.
Dr. Mwangagi however said nine of those infected lately were initially quarantined at isolation facilities while the other seven were part of those found through contact tracing initiative.
“To date, we have managed to test 3836 samples from individuals and the distribution of this new cases according to their counties is Nairobi 12, Mombasa 3 and Kilifi 1” she said.
Dr Mwangangi revealed that in terms of gender, nine of the new victims were male while seven were female whose ages ranged between their ages 22 to 66 years.
The health ministry has so far monitored 1833 and out of this number 1384 have been discharged leaving a balance of 449 contacts that we are actively being traced.
She also stressed on the need to bury remains of victims of the disease within 24 hours and insisted that the bereaved restrict funeral attendance to only 15 close family friends to minimize further spread of the pandemic.
Dr Mwangangi also urged the Kenyans to wear mask while visiting public places such as supermarkets, open air markets and public transport should at all times to reduce the chances of transmission.
She said Production of face masks and other protective gears is ongoing and distribution of the same may soon be undertaken at the county levels to ensure that Kenyans at grassroots levels accessed the gears.
“It has come to our attention that there are private hospitals who are overcharging Kenyans and taking advantage of the situation to make a kill” she said.
“We have reports of gloves that cost up to Kshs. 8,000, it is unacceptable and immoral, and the medical council has been directed to take up this matter.
Dr. Mwangangi reiterated that persons visiting public places such as supermarkets, open air markets, public transport should at all times wear a face mask to reduce the chances of transmission of the virus.
Meanwhile, the government has extended the ban on international flights for another one month to cushion the country from the spread of Covid 19 viral disease.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said following the expiry date of the earlier embargo on Sunday the extension for another 30 days with effect from the 6th April was critical to contain the pandemic in the country.
“ This suspension will however not apply to those flights that are coming in to evacuate foreign nationals from the country. It also exempts the cargo flights that are coming into the country to deliver goods only and no passenger plane will be allowed” he insisted.
The Government has also restricted visits to prisons and slammed another suspension for another 30 days until the situation became tenable.
CS Macharia also directed public service vehicle operators to observe the set guidelines warning that those violating the rules shall have their licenses withdrawn and vehicles impounded.
“We have observed that the set directives are not being strictly followed and matatus are still overloading, not observing social distancing and required standards of hygiene as per set guidelines” he regretted.
He appealed to those in the transport sector to observe the protocol laid out for safety measures to the failure to which they risked being locked out of business as their vehicles may be impounded and licenses withdrawn altogether..
The offenders, he said will also be charged in a court of law, in line with the Public Health Act, for deliberately spreading the virus.
He said Boda boda riders, who continue to flout the directives risked facing the penalties before a court of law and that their bikes may be impounded to deter those breaking the measures.
During the briefing, Ag, Director of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said at least 55 percent of the fresh infected Kenyans were those tested from quaCovid 19 infection Records a Double digit Again.
The first case of Covid – 19 was identified in china in December 2019. It normally spreads through close contact with uninfected person, fever, cough, shortness of bread, body ache and headache are the symptoms that vary from mild to severe. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or articles.
By Wangari Ndirangu