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CS Health Mutahi Kagwe/FILE/MoH, Kenya

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CS Kagwe discourages urban-rural travel to shield high-risk aging population from COVID-19

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 30 – Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Monday urged those who live in urban areas specifically in Nairobi not to travel to rural areas as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus, especially among the elderly.

“We are encouraging those who live in Nairobi against travelling  upcountry during this period. Statistics show that majority of our elderly live in upcountry and they are likely to be exposed like it happened in Italy by this kind of movements,” Kagwe urged.

The CS said Nairobi remains the epicenter of the infections leading with 34 cases, followed by Kilifi with 6, Kitui registered its first case on Monday.

He further urged those in upcountry not to travel to urban areas unless it is necessary and even so, to maintain social distancing at all cost.

“I also call on those who live in upcountry not to come to Nairobi or go to Mombasa unless it is very crucial. Even so, I urge them to maintain the social distancing that we have been talking about,” Kagwe added.

Coronavirus cases in the country rose to fifty on Monday after the Ministry of Health confirmed eight more cases out of eighty-four samples that were analyzed within the last 24 hours.

CS Kagwe said 1,211 persons who came into class contact with confirmed cases are still being processed with 231 who have tested positive having been discharged after completing a mandatory quarantine period.

“One case is from our quarantined guests, 6 confirmed cases are from 88 tested samples of people who came into close contact with confirmed patients and additional one from Agha Khan hospital,” said Kagwe.

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Kagwe called for more personal responsibility, saying the virus was now being spread locally in the country as no new cases are being imported.

“The virus is now being spread through community transmission. This means that the disease is no longer imported from outside, but it is here with us. We are now spreading it among ourselves and we must now raise our level of alert and intervention measures,” he said.

The confirmation of eight new cases on Monday put the spread of the virus in Kenya on a steady rise three weeks since the first case was reported with the health ministry urging for a serious approach by the general public to contain the spread.

The global pandemic has claimed over 34,000 lives and infected over 700,000 others globally.

Some 151,824 have recovered.

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