NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 5 – COVID-19 cases in Kenya rose to 142 Sunday after the government announced 16 new cases.
So far, four people have succumbed to the virus.
Nine of the new cases were people put on quarantine on arrival from countries abroad where coronavirus cases have been confirmed, according to Mercy Mwangangi, Health Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary.
Meanwhile the government has now issued a directive requiring burials of coronavirus victims within 24 hours.
Mwangangi said such burials will only be attended by close family members.
“The burials are restricted to less than 15 close family members,” she told a news conference Sunday when she announced the 16 additional cases.
Captain Daudi Kibati, a Kenya Airways pilot who contracted the virus on the airline’s last flight from New York that evacuated stranded Kenyans and foreigners two weeks ago, is among four people who have lost their lives.
Kibati was buried in Kitui on Saturday.
Others who succumbed to the virus include a six-year-old boy who was admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital last week.
All those who have died are said to have had pre-existing conditions.
Globally, more than 60,000 people have died, with infections now over one million.
Kenya is implementing a dusk to dawn curfew and has declared that masks are mandatory for anyone visiting a supermarket or any other public place.
“All people visiting public places such as supermarkets should at all times wear a face mask to reduce the chance of transmission of this virus,” she said.
The country has already started manufacturing masks in the country, with a Kitui firm producing at least 25,000 pieces in a day.
Coronavirus has killed more than 60,000 people and infected more than a million others globally, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) projecting a further increase.
In Kenya, the Health Ministry of projecting 10,000 cases by April and has already started preparing places to be used as temporary hospitals, including airport hangers and public boarding schools.
There are reports of a possible lockdown in the country in the coming days, even though there is no official confirmation from the government or any of its official.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe only alluded to it when he told journalists recently that all options are on the table.