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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe /CFM/FILE - Moses Muoki

Capital Health

Govt bans public gatherings after Kenyan tests positive for coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – The Government Friday suspended all public gatherings in the country following the confirmation of the first case of coronavirus case.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said all inter-school events and conferences have been cancelled with immediate effect.

The female patient, who has since been quarantined, tested positive on Thursday and had traveled to the United States through the United Kingdom. She arrived in the country on March 5.

“We have suspended all public gatherings, meetings, religious crusades, games and all events that are of a huge public nature. Normal church service can go on, provided they provide hand sanitizers s people go into the worship areas,” Kagwe directed.

Kagwe who doubles up as Chairperson of the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus however stated that school programmes will proceed as planned.

The CS also announced the suspension of prison visits for the next 30 days.

“We have also suspended all inter school events but the schools at this moment remain open. We have also suspended all visits to prisons for the next 30 days. Kenyans must not abuse social media platforms or indulge in spreading misinformation that can cause fear or panic,” Kagwe urged.

He said the patient was in a stable condition adding she will only be discharged once she is treated and turns out negative.

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According to the CS, the ministry has contacted other passengers who were in the same flight with the quarantined patient for testing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday ordered the Ministry of Health to undertake additional preventive measures especially in informal settlements to forestall a coronavirus outbreak in the country.

He gave the directive after receiving the first report from the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus chaired by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said the Head of State, “directed the development of specific prevention strategies to take care of low income and vulnerable populations especially in informal settlements.”

“These efforts will leverage on existing community structures including chiefs, ward administrators, religious leaders and Nyumba Kumi elders to raise awareness and coordinate responses,” she added.

Kenyatta further ordered for a review of budgets on prevention of the virus officially declared a global pandemic on Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

“His Excellency the President directed the necessary review and adjustment of budgets towards prevention and management response actions, and to cushion the economy against the negative effects of the pandemic,” the statement read.

The virus which exploded in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei Province has claimed 4,600 lives with over 126,000 people infected globally out of whom 67,000 have recovered.

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