The State is set to issue additional restrictions Wednesday to help contain the coronavirus outbreak after nine more cases were confirmed in the country Tuesday, taking the total to 25.
Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the new measures are partly due to the continued refusal or failure of many Kenyans to observe social distancing measures that the government has outlined in the past two weeks.
“We will be announcing a raft of new measures tomorrow (today) to help deal with coronavirus cases. Meetings are going on as we are speaking and I’m actually heading into one of them,” said Mr Kagwe.
The government has already ordered all bars and entertainment spots shut and eateries to operate takeaway services only.
All learning institutions are closed, while public transport vehicles have seen their carrying capacity reduced by up to 40 percent.
The public transporters have responded by increasing fares.
Mr Kagwe said the nine additional people tested positive for the coronavirus are from Nairobi Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties, which the government has identified as potential hotspots.
He said that seven of the new cases are Kenyans and two are foreigners.
They include 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 the total number of traced contacts so far in the country stands at 745, out of which 98 have been discharged.
Kenya is likely to see accelerated testing after the country on Tuesday received 20,000 testing kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 protective gear donated by Chinese tycoon Jack Ma, the founder of online trading platform Alibaba.