Number of Covid -19 cases reach 50, government expect the number to rise to 10,000 by end of April.
The cabinet secretary for health, Mr Mutahi Kagwe has said that the Ministry of Health has embarked on mass testing of the 2050 people currently on mandatory quarantine in designated facilities. He said the tests were being administered depending on one’s arrival date, with focus on those on their 8th day in quarantine.
The government tested 172 samples today out of which 84 samples have been analyzed. out the 84 analyzed samples, one tested positive for Covid -19. The ministry also tested 88 people believed to have had close contact with those who tested positive.Out of the 88 close contacts tested 7 people tested positive, bringing the total number of infected people to 50.
Nairobi County led in the number of new cases with 6 people, while Mombasa and Kitui had 1 case each. Nairobi County is currently leading in the number of confirmed cases.
The cabinet secretary has urged Kenyans to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines as the new infections are no longer imported but rather spread within the local community.
In order to strictly observe the dusk till dawn curfew, Mr Kagwe asked employers to release their employees as early as 4pm to give them enough time to reach home before 7pm.
Those staying in Nairobi and other urban centres have been asked not to travel to the village as they may carry the virus with them to their old parents and grandparents who are at high risk of dying should they contact the virus.
The cabinet secretary also confirmed that cargo flights were still allowed into the country as they ferried essential supplies including medical supplies.
“As indicated earlier, cargo flights are allowed to come into the country. This is to cushion the economy by ensuring supply of imported commodities which include medical supplies. Flights are also landing to evacuate citizens of other countries. ” said the CS.
Following the emergence of local community infections, the government has warned that kenya may register as much as 10,000 cases by the end of April
” Covid-19 is not following a particular trend. MoH is working with experts to model the Kenyan pattern. For example if the country is at 50 now, where is it expected to be in the next 1 week? It is anticipated that Kenya will have least 10,000 cases by the end of April, though a lot will be dependent on our individual conduct. The most successful cases are from those countries where people agreed to wash their hands, maintain social distance and take matters seriously ” Mr Kagwe said.
Anticipating an upsurge in the number of cases and eventual overwhelming of the healthcare system, the Cabinet Secretary said that Boarding Schools dormitories, Stadiums and airport hangers will be converted into makeshift hospitals for Covid -19 patients should the need arise.
” As far as facilities are concerned, one unique advantage that Kenya has is the presence of many boarding schools that can take up to at least 300,000 people incase the cases overwhelm hospital capacity. Stadiums, fields and airport hangers are also available for that purpose if it becomes necessary.” said the CS.
Covid -19 has so far affected over 170 countries, infected over 700,000 and killed over 33,000 people around the world.