NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14- Shortly after the news of a positive case of coronavirus in the country broke on Friday, Kenyans of entrepreneurial skills poured to the streets of Nairobi, selling all types of face masks.
They ranged from dust to surgical masks, and were sold at a varying price, with most using the tagline; prevent coronavirus and acquire a mask.
It was a similar case in chemists and supermarkets, where most run out sanitizers largely because of what has been described as panic buying.
“Nunua mask zuia corona (buy a mask and prevent corona),” went the hawkers.
According to the World Health Organisation, wearing a face mask is not a guarantee that one won’t get sick, but points out that it is effective at capturing droplets, which remains a main transmission route for the virus.
A spot check by Capital Newsbeat, however, reveals that most people in downtown are taking few or no precautionary measures- to the extent of eating roadside food.
“We have engaged with our suppliers and received firm commitments that we shall continue receiving the necessary supplies at the standard prices,” Tusker Mattresses Limited (TML)- Tuskys said in a statement.
The first confirmed case of the epidemic was of a Kenyan student who travelled in from the US on March 5, according to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
The 27-year-old student had been in the US state of Ohio, which authorities said likely has more than 100,000 people carrying the virus.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.* [according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
.Shortness of breath
This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
.Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). .Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Clean your hands often
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.