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State plans to use boarding schools for isolation as coronavirus cases hit 59

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi updating the country on Covid 19 at Afya House, Nairobi on March 26, 2020. 

A number of boarding schools will be converted into isolation centres if the coronavirus infections overwhelm hospitals, the government said Tuesday, as the confirmed cases of the virus in Kenya climbed to 59.

Health chief administration secretary Mercy Mwangangi, while announcing the confirmation of nine more cases, said the plan is to ensure that additional cases are handled in controlled environments.

The nine new cases were confirmed from 234 samples that were tested in the past 24 hours, with Nairobi retaining its position as the county with the highest number.

“We are exploring usage of our boarding schools to boost our capacity in case things worsen,” Dr Mwangagi said during the daily briefing yesterday, without giving further details. She declined to field questions from the Press in a departure from the norm during previous briefings.

The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring some 1,658 individuals that have come into contact with the confirmed cases.

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Monday said the virus was no longer imported but was being spread through community transmission.

The government has ordered boda boda riders to wear face masks and limit the number of passengers to one per trip. The government is engaging local manufacturers for mass production of health equipment.

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