Two more Kenyans have succumbed to Coronavirus as 29 others tested positive bringing the total number of confirmed positive cases to 110.
The two patients one from Nairobi and the other Mombasa passed on Thursday bringing the total number of deaths in the country to three.
In a press briefing Thursday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced that out of the 29 who have tested positive, 28 are Kenyans while one is Congolese.
“Out of the 29 who have tested positive, 28 are Kenyans while one is Congolese, they have all been placed in isolation in various health facilities and contact tracing has commenced, ” said Health CS Kagwe adding that “they have all been placed in isolation in various health facilities and contact tracing has commenced. ”
He confirmed that a total of 662 samples had been tested in the last 24 hours.
“ In the last 24 hours, we have managed to test a total of 662 samples out of which 29 people have tested positive for the Coronavirus disease. Out of this number, twenty eight are Kenyans while one is Congolese. This now brings the total number of those who have tested positive for the disease in the country to 110. ” CS Kagwe said.
The new patients are admitted to various private and public hospitals including government institutions that have been identified for use as isolation centers.
” We have placed the 29 people into isolation in our various health facilities and contact tracing has commenced. The distribution of these new cases according to facilities of admission is as follows; Aga Khan University Hospital 3; Crown Plaza Airport 11; Four points Sheraton Airport 1; KISE 2; KITI Nakuru 2; KMTC 5; KNH 1; Mathari Hospital 1; Nairobi Hospital 1 and Pride Inn Azzure 2.” He added.
He asked those on quarantine to social distance as 23 of the confirmed cases were detected in the designated quarantine facilities while six were from suspected cases in isolation units.
” In terms of gender, there are 13 additional males and 16 females. Twenty-three (23) of the confirmed cases were detected in the designated quarantine facilities while six (6) are from suspected cases admitted in isolation units in various Health facilities.” Said Kagwe
The ages of the confirmed cases range from 16 to 64 years.
” Fellow Kenyans, I do not want to scare you, but with the figures I have just read to you, the number is likely to rise. It is important to note that this virus does not move by itself. It is moved by you and I. we must change our behaviour and attitude if we have to cut the transmission of the virus. Had we not placed the people who came into the country into mandatory quarantine, the story would be different now! He added.
At the same time, the government has directed all County Governments to hire 5,000 skilled health workers within 7-days to help control the Covid-19 pandemic.
All level 4, 5 and 6 hospitals will also hire an additional 1,000 health workers in the wake of rising cases of infection in the country.
” The Government has instructed with immediate effect, that the hiring of 5000- skilled health workers in the counties begin and with the aim of finalizing the hiring within the next 7 days. An additional 6000 health workers will be in place to fight coronavirus.” said the CS.
Following the rising number of positive cases, the CS said the government is announcing stiffer measures to deal with the Coronavirus.
” Arising from the trends, the Government is considering announcing stiffer measures to deal with the disease. But as of now, I urge you to take extreme precautionary measures wherever you are, by observing the highest standard of hygiene, social distancing, as well as any other measures the Government has announced to you.”
All tuk tuk riders and matatu drivers were ordered to wear masks which he said the government will distribute through counties and association chairpersons.
” As I directed earlier this week, that all boda boda riders and their passengers must wear protective masks, I further direct that all tuk tuk drivers and their passengers to adhere to this directive as well.’
The CS once again discouraged mass movement of people staying in Nairobi from travelling upcountry.
“The dangers of this are real. It is very easy to transfer the virus to those living up country especially the elderly, like it has happened in Italy.” He noted.
Disinfection of Airports has also began.
“Beginning today, our Port Health Teams have embarked on disinfecting the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for the next one week. The exercise will be extended to all other airports. ” added the CS.
Safe handling of bodies
Bodies of deceased persons will be disinfected before being released to the family for internment.
Acting Director-General of Public Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said the body of the first Kenyan to have died of COVID-19, Engineer Maurice Barasa Namiinda, 66, has already been disinfected.
The family is now required to clear pending medical bills at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi before they are allowed to collect his remains. Namiinda died on March 26.
Amoth added that handling and disposal of bodies will strictly be done according to Covid-19 guidelines and protocols stipulated by the government.
Families of the departed will only bury their loved ones if they commit to adhere to the strict guidelines otherwise government will take over disposal.
“Only 15 people or less will be allowed to attend burials” Dr Amoth said.
Close to one million people have so far been infected, and 47,000 have lost their lives globally.
Italy has recorded 110,574 cases, with 13,155 deaths, and 16,847 recoveries. Spain has recorded 104,118 cases with 9,387 deaths, and 22,647 recoveries.