NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – The National Security Council Friday ordered the mobilization of the country’s security infrastructure to support precautionary measures in place on the prevention of the spread of coronavirus, including ensuring compliance to a ban on public gatherings.
The session chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi also resolved to have additional medical personnel recruited to support government’s response after the country reported the first positive case on Tuesday.
“The National Security infrastructure is mobilized to back the National Emergency Response Committee on all the precautionary measures it has announced this morning,” State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena indicated.
The security council also resolved to have more medical personnel recruited and retained on an emergency basic contract, even as the government adopts stringent measures to enhance surveillance.
“All National Government Administration Officers in the country, right from National to sub-location level to be tasked immediately to ensure that all the measures announced by the committee including continued public awareness on the role of hygiene in the prevention of the spread of coronavirus, and discouragement of mass gatherings and meetings and continued monitoring and surveillance are put in place,” the statement outlined.
The government said measures were in place to ensure the viral disease does not spread in other parts of the country.
“The Government will do everything possible to ensure effective response to the now global challenge of COVID19 and would like to encourage Kenyans to remain calm, and continue with their regular day-to-day activities but remain vigilant, keep good hygiene, observe self-quarantine where necessary under the law and observe the precautionary measures announced by the World Health Organization and the National Emergency Response Committee on COVID19,” Dena assured.
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.
-What we know about the first coronavirus case in Kenya-
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Friday said the virus was confirmed on a female student who traveled in from the United States via London, United Kingdom.
While the details of the patient remained scanty, the CS said she is aged 27.
“I would like to thank the patient who took herself to hospital immediately she displayed symptoms. She has given us names of all she came into contact with. I would like to thank her for following all guidelines,” the CS who appealed for calm said.
He said the patient was in a stable condition adding she will only be discharged once she is treated and turns out negative.
Kagwe said the ministry has contacted other people who were in the same flight with the quarantined patient for testing- but did not provide much details on their status and whether they have been asked to self-quarantine themselves.
Meanwhile, the government has suspended all public gatherings in the country following the confirmation of the first case of coronavirus case.
Kagwe also said all inter-school events and conferences have been cancelled with immediate effect.