Health

Kenya coronavirus cases rise to seven

Summary

  • Health CS Mutahi Kagwe confirms that three more patients tested positive for the virus.

Kenya has confirmed three more coronavirus cases, bringing the total of Covid-19 patients to seven.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday confirmed that three more patients had tested positive for the virus.

Two of the cases were a couple that travelled from Madrid, Spain on March 4 through Dubai, arriving in Kenya on the March 5.

The third case is a Burundian national who travelled from Dubai, UAE to Kenya. He arrived on March 17 and was picked up by a surveillance team, Mr Kagwe said.

"We are tracing persons who may have been in contact with the patients," he said.

He noted that all cases so far are imported.

The tests were done by the National Influenza Centre and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).

Eighteen patients are currently admitted at Mbagathi Hospital. Of these, the CS said, seven have been screened and are negative. Samples of 11 others are still being processed.

The government is now appealing to Kenyans to report anyone who came into the country during the outbreak and is not self-quarantining.

"Any Kenyan travelling into the country must sign a legal form to assure the government that you will self-quarantine," he said.

Mr Kagwe also stressed the importance of strict hygiene in curbing spread of the pandemic.

"Washing hands and social distancing is the key reason why Chinese cases are coming down."

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China in December, has spread to 164 countries and territories. Of those, 57 have reported fatalities.

Globally, 198,366 people have been infected and at least 8,418 have died.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 26 out of 49 countries have confirmed cases.

The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).