By Andrew Ombuni
- Coronavirus cases rises to seven in Kenya
- Three more cases confirmed today
- Two were a couple and another one a Burundian national
- Over 6500 deaths have been reported
- Doctors, nurses flee ward over patient with coronavirus-like symptoms at Kakamega County Teaching and Referral hospital
- Patient is a businessman in Kakamega town
- He travelled to Kakamega from Dubai on Sunday
- His bloods samples have been taken to Kemri
Three more people have tested positive of coronavirus after undergoing tests at the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).
This brings to seven people who have been infected with the deadly disease that has claimed lives of over 6,500 people globally.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe while making the announcement said the three have been quarantined at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
“All the cases that have been confirmed are imported cases from outside the country, the first two cases are of a couple that traveled from Madrid in Spain on March 04, through Dubai and arrived in Kenya on march 5,” said Kagwe.
Mr Kagwe said the third case is of Burundian national who traveled from Dubai to Kenya and arrived on March 17 but surveillance team picked him after they discovered he had high temperatures upon landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
“At JKIA we are able to screen, pick and determine if you have been infected with the virus or not. Tracing of persons who may have come into contact with the confirmed persons is ongoing so that they too can be tested,” said the Health CS.
According to Kagwe, already 18 who met them have been quarantined at Mbagathi hospital, saying seven of them have been screened and tested negative and that they have been discharged to self-quarantine for 14 days.
He said the remaining 11, there samples are being tested and will be ready by close of business today, adding that all those going for self-quarantine will be closely monitored by staff from the Health ministry.
“It’s now clear that Kenyans travelling outside the country or those who visited overseas and jetted in earlier are the ones testing positive of coronavirus. A lot of people have compiled with the directive and it’s commendable,” he said.
Kagwe asked Kenyans to report anyone who agreed to quarantine himself and is not doing so to report immediately to the police so that they can be quarantined by force for 14 days and upon discharge, they will be charged and punished in a court of law.
“Refusing to quarantine yourself is an offence and punishable by a jail term. Effective today, any Kenyan coming in must sign a legal form to self-quarantine. This gives us instruments to jail for failure to follow laid down procedure,” said Kagwe.
“Today via a video conferencing capacity, our doctors were able to carry able a one on one talk with doctors from Wuhan, China who have been handling the disease and other 20 African countries. This is an extremely important step and I can assure you, the knowledge we got will go a long way in salvaging the country from Covid 19,” Kagwe added.
Meanwhile, doctors and nurses at the Kakamega County General Teaching and Referral Hospital fled from the casualty ward after a patient with coronavirus-like symptoms was brought to the facility.
The health workers said they feared contracting the highly contagious coronavirus disease because they do not have protective gear.
“A patient with corona like symptoms walked to the referral hospital for tests today and was rushed to the isolation ward by personnel from the Kenya Red cross. The patient is said to have traveled from Dubai and arrived in Kenya on Sunday,” read a presser by Peter Atsiaya.
Mr Atsiaya, the head of Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s press unit, said that the patient is a Kakamega based businessman.
He said his blood samples had been taken to Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) for more tests, adding that the county government is tracking down all the people he might have came into contact with so that they can also undergo tests.
Atsiaya said the county health minister; Rachel Okumu will be meeting Kakamega County Commissioner, Pauline Dola, who will give more updates over the issue.
Oparanya disclosed that Sh110million has been set aside in their emergency kitty to combat the COVID-19.