Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi reportedly confirmed that the total cases of the novel coronavirus in Kenya have surged to 59 after over 234 samples were analyzed and 9 more people tested positive for the disease in past 24 hours. During a state press conference, the secretary said that the authorities were investigating the contacts of those exposed to the patients to put them under 14-day mandatory quarantine. The suspected number was 1160, she added. The first case of the novel coronavirus in Kenya was detected on March 13, as per media reports.
Mwangangi was quoted saying that the government was going to convert boarding schools into quarantine centers to test and treat the patients of the COVID-19 as the situation could be expected to get worse in the weeks ahead. She reportedly said that the government will hire over 1000 medics to battle the health crisis. The consultation with the counties for the arrangements was in progress, she added. She was also reported lauding the efforts of the medical staff and claimed that the ministry would be providing the additional protective equipment like hazmat suits, testing kits, and ventilators. The plan was underway to engage the local manufacturers to boost the supply at facilities, she was quoted as saying.
Kenya urged the citizens to abide by the government’s containment directives, and restrict all non-essential movements to control the further spread of the disease, as per the state media reports. Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe told the press that Nairobi had entered into the community transmission phase in view of the onslaught of cases across the region. The government cautioned the travellers against migrating to the upcountry and warned its elderly population against coming out of homes.
WHO chief Tedros Ghebereyesus had earlier stressed in a virtual press conference that while countries like China had a robust health system to combat and control the infection’s spread, the organization largely remained concerned about the disease entering the nations with weak healthcare systems in Africa.