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Kenya confirms 16 more cases of coronavirus

The  Health CAS, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi addresses the Media on Corona virus updates at  Afya House accompanied by the Cabinet Secretaries ICT, Joe Mucheru(far left), James Macharia (Transport) and Prof. George Magoha (Education) right on Sunday April 5, 2020. Photo by KNA.

Another  16 Kenyans out of 530 samples tested in the last 24 hours have tested positive for Coronavirus. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country, as per  Sunday, to 142.

According to report by Health Ministry Chief Administrative Officer (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangagi out of the confirmed cases, 15 are Kenyans while one is Nigerian. 11 of them have a history of travel while five are locally transmitted.

Giving an update on the country’s position on the Covid 19 disease, the CAS added that out of this number nine are from a quarantine facility while seven are from contact tracing, the 16 have been moved to isolation in various facilities and contact tracing is ongoing.

“To date, we have managed to test 3,836 samples from individuals and the distribution of this new cases according to their counties indicates; Nairobi 12, Mombasa three (3) and Kilifi one (1),” Dr. Mwangangi revealed.

In terms of gender, the CAS said nine (9) are males and seven (7) are female with their ages ranging from 22 to 66 years.

The  CAS  added that so far 1,833 have been monitored, and out of this1,384 have been discharged, adding that currently there are 449 contacts that are actively being traced.

She reiterated the government’s directive that persons who pass away due to coronavirus will have to be buried within 24 hours from the time of death and burial restricted to less than 15 close family members.

All persons visiting public places such as supermarkets, open air markets and public transport should at all times wear a face masks to reduce the chances of transmission or infection.

Production of face masks and other protective gears is ongoing and distribution being done at county level

The CAS appreciated the cooperation and collaboration with the County Governments, especially those with confirmed Covid-19 cases, and urged the rest of the counties to continue upscaling their level of preparedness

It has come to our attention that there are private hospitals who are overcharging Kenyans and taking advantage of the situation.

“We have reports of gloves that cost up to Sh. 8,000, it is unacceptable and immoral, and the medical Council has been directed to take up the matter,” she noted.

Meanwhile, the Transport Cabinet Secretary(CS), James Macharia, said following the expiry date of ban on international flights that was to ended  on Sunday, the government has extended the ban for another 30 days with effect from Monday April 6.

“This suspension will, however, not apply to those flights that are coming in to evacuate foreign nationals from the country. It also exempts cargo flights that are coming into the country to deliver goods but must not have passengers on board”,  he noted.

The Government has also directed that visits to prisons shall remain suspended for another 30 days.

Macharia  said starting today any matatu operator found not observing the set directives by the government, will have their Sacco licenses suspended and the vehicle bonded. This directive applies to all public transport.

“We have observed that the set directives are not being strictly followed and matatus are still overloading, not observing social distancing and also not observe standards of hygiene as per set guidelines,” Macharia noted.

He appealed to those in the transport industry to adhere to the directives issued by the Ministry of Health, with regard to maintaining high standard of hygiene in the transport sector.

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.

The Boda boda riders, who also continue to flout the directives already issued, the CS said, will have their motorcycles impounded and will also face the law.

During the briefing, Ag. Director of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, said that 54 to 55 percent are from quarantine facilities and those people under quarantine and have not been observing the social distancing have no option but to stay quarantined for another 14 days.

The first case of Covid – 19 was identified in China in December 2019. It normally spreads through close contact with infected person. The symptoms include; fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle-ache and headache.

This symptom vary from mild to severe. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or articles.

By  Wangari  Ndirangu

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