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Kenyatta National Hospital is the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africa/FILE

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Kenya confirms first case of coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Kenya has confirmed the first case of coronavirus which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic on Wednesday.

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.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Friday said the virus was confirmed on a 27 year old female student who traveled in from the United States via London, United Kingdom.

“This was a lady who was living on her own, I want to thank because she has put citizen responsibility to the test. Because the minute she started feeling unwell and she said to us having read what you have been publishing she thought that she took her herself to the hospital.”

“This is an import, it is not a homegrown case. So we are hoping that it is an isolated case and we can tackle it,” he stated.

She had traveled from Ohio, Chicago, London before she arrived in Kenya on March 5. 

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

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

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“We have done all the contact tracing and have all the names including the people who sat next to her on the flights she took,” Kagwe stated.

The CS told a news conference that the woman is currently isolated at the Kenyatta National Hospital’s Infectious Disease Unit.

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

“Let us not lose sight, that what we have is a corona virus positive test, and she is stable, she is eating very well. She is even talking to us.” 

“There is no cause for alarm, Kenyans should continue with regular activities,” Kagwe added. 

Following the announcement and the classification of Corona as a pandemic, Kagwe suspended all travel outside the country ‘unless necessary.’

Kagwe said all County Hospitals which are categorized as Level IV and V will have an Isolation Ward courtesy of funds released by the Ministry of Health and the World Bank.

The officials from the ministry will from Monday commence regular public sensitization campaigns on the coronavirus disease. 

“We will be conducting training at bus stops from 10am-4pm,” he stated.

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