The government has announced 14 more patients with Covid-19 following 696 tests done over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 172 confirmed cases.
Out of the 14 cases, seven are in Nairobi, two in Mombasa, while Machakos, Kisii and Kiambu reported their first cases with Mandera recording two patients who had recently traveled from Mombasa County.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said on Tuesday that the new Covid-19 patients, 12 are Kenyans while two are foreign nationals.
“Four of them were from quarantine facilities and while 10 were picked by surveillance team who have since been moved to guarantee facilities. Contact tracing has begun earnestly,” Mr Kagwe said.
The CS reported that the ministry is continuing to monitor about 1,928 people, out of which 1,410 tested negative and 518 are under watch. So far, the government has tested 4,923 people.
Three patients have been discharged after testing negative, he said, which brings to seven those who have recovered.
Mr Kagwe further warned of more cases and said the government would take sterner measures if necessary, to curb spread of the virus.
“Let’s brace ourselves for bad news as all the measures will not stop the disease abruptly. The two things that are fortunate is that Kenyans are getting mild infections and the mortality rate is low, however this should not be reason to be relaxed at all,” he warned.
The CS also noted that Kenya's capacity to test for the coronavirus and to monitor and trace contacts has increased.
“All health workers and medical staff including those in private hospitals, rapid response teams and staff in facilities holding quarantine persons must commence testing with immediate effect,” he added.
"We have a new reagent for automatic testing," he said, noting the tests will not be manual.
Regarding testing kits, the minister said 200,000 more will be available in seven days.
"I’m confident about our ability to supply the kits," he said.
Mr Kagwe urged the public to observe the social distancing guidelines specifically in open-air sporting clubs, where he said numbers in the facilities should be limited.
He also ordered the closing of all golf clubs and club houses with immediate effect. He added that golfers could play but without their caddies.
He reiterated the movement restrictions announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday when he banned travel in and out of Nairobi Metropolitan Area, and Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale counties.
He said the ban was partly informed by cases reported in Mandera, where the patients are said to have travelled from Mombasa. He added that intercounty movement is discouraged.
The Covid-19 disease has killed at least 76,383 people worldwide since it was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.
At least 1,363,123 infections and 293,833 recoveries have been reported globally, according to Worldometer's count on Tuesday.
- Additional reporting by Nasibo Kabale.