Kenya has recorded the first fatality resulting from coronavirus infection after a 66 year old businessman succumbed to the highly contagious disease last Thursday.
The Nairobi businessman whose name cannot be disclose at the moment arrived in the country on 13th March before he sought treatment at the Aga Khan hospital for diabetes related ailment after his trip from South Africa via Swaziland.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe confirmed the tragic news said the patient who went for a routine checkup at the facility had a high fever prompting medics to subject him to COVID 19 tests after his travel history revealed he had visit countries where the outbreak was reported
Government agencies have reportedly taken over the disposal of the body to ensure that possible infections during the interment were ruled out and were done within the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile Health Chief Administrative Officer (CAS) Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said three more suspect cases of Coronavirus tested positive bringing the number to 31 since the first case was reported on the 12th March.
She said the confirmed cases were spread out in five counties namely Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Kajiado from where at least 74 suspect cases were sampled for testing over the last 24 hours.
“ All the three confirmed cases are Kenyan females aged between 30 and 61 and are close contacts of the previous confirmed cases, two from Kilifi and one from Nairobi”, she aid
The new patients have already been taken into isolation in our facilities and are being monitored together with others who are positive, dr. mwangagi said
The CAS said that currently the government is continuing on tracing other people who might have been in contact and so far the total number of close contacts is 1029 out of which 123 have been discharged after 14 day period and the remaining 906 contacts are being monitored . 18 are admitted at Mbagathi hospital awaiting tests.
The CAS however said they are ongoing talks of how Kilifi country will be handled and other areas that are emerging as hotspots.” I want to urge Kenyans especially those at the coast and Kilifi to particularly observe social distancing with self-determination”.
Dr. Mwangangi further said that there more than 2000 people who arrived into the country from Monday this week and are placed under mandatory quarantine and shall be shall be tested In due time in line with guidance from WHO,
Following cancellation of all international flights at JKIA since midnight yesterday, Dr. Mwangagi said countries that wish to evacuate their citizens can however contact the Ministry of foreign affairs .
She called upon Kenyans to continue supporting the government in measures that have been put in place to eliminate the virus
On the issue of curfew which the president declared on Wednesday, Dr. Mwangagi said it was necessary in order to reduce movement and also large group congregations which is part of social distancing.
“We have noticed despite the instructions given, Kenyan have not been adhering and reports have come that Kenyans are still congregating in clubs and restaurants, holding house parties and that is not social distancing”, she said .
The directive, Dr. mwangagi said will ensure implementation of social distancing which a weapon against corona.
Dr. Patrick Amoth explained that the patient released yesterday was case number 2 of those who had been admitted in isolation unit at mbagathi .
The patient tested negative following the WHO guidelines, he said but was quick to confirm that the persons can be re-infected again if they were to come into contact with an infected person.
“For those who are being released from quarantine and also treatment , let them also follow the infection prevention measures just like other persons.
By Wangare Ndirangu