NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30- When former Starehe legislator Bishop Margaret Wanjiru went to Aga Khan University Hospital a week ago, on Saturday she told journalists that she initially thought she was suffering from food poisoning, only for her to turn positive of COVID-19.
She was also suffering from diarrhea- which is the latest symptom of coronavirus, according to public health officials.
The Jesus is Alive Ministries bishop tested positive alongside her two grandchildren, who have also recovered. Her six members of staff are still in hospital.
“COVID-19 is real and should be taken seriously, and not only when you are at work. I did not leave home, the disease found me home,” she told a news conference at the Aga Khan Hospital, shortly after discharge.
She urged Kenyans to heed to the Ministry of Health precautionary measures and not to fear seeking medical help in hospital due to coronavirus.
“We take some things for granted when we are at home. We do not put on masks while at home. Even at home, use the mask, as much as you can. Learn from me,” the former legislator who started the briefing with a word of a prayer said.
The Bishop and her two grandchildren walked out of the hospital free of the virus, a week after being admitted. She attributes her healing to God.
“All along, I knew I had eaten bad food,” she said, “I did not have flu or cough. Anytime you feel disorder in your body, do not shy away from going to hospital.”
Wanjiru and her two grandchildren are among 26 Kenyans who have recovered from the disease, raising the tally to 464.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman said the patients were discharged from various hospitals across the country.
The death toll rose to 63, after a 50-year-old man succumbed to the virus.
The Ministry of Health said most of the people who have died were suffering from other underlying conditions, including Diabetes.
The Ministry said on Saturday that public health officials had discovered a new symptom exhibited by most COVID-19 patients–Diarrhoea. This is coupled up by high fever, dry cough and tiredness.
Dr Aman said the symptom has been recorded in many other parts of the world.
On Saturday, Bishop Wanjiru said she initially did not have coronavirus symptoms but had diarrhea and food poisoning, only to be confirmed with COVID-19 on testing.
The former Assistant Minister has been at Aga Khan Hospital since last week, and is among the 26 patients declared COVID-19 free on Saturday and now stand discharged from hospital.
The COVID-19 curve remained on a sharp increase in Kenya since last week, even as President Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to make a key announcement on the status of a national curfew and other restrictions.
A national curfew has been in place for the past two months until June 6, along with restrictions on cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera Counties.
On Saturday, there were 143 new cases reported, just a day after posting 127 cases on Friday.
On Thursday, 147 new cases were recorded from various counties, with particular focus to Nairobi and Mombasa counties which have been recording high figures.
Cummulatively, Kenya had recorded 1,888 positive cases by May 30, with a warning from the Ministry of Health on more cases as the country draws closer to its peak which was projected to start in June to around September.
Health CAS Aman said Kenya is it a critical period on the pandemic, and urged Kenyans to cooperate in observing social distancing and all other measures imposed to help prevent the spread.
The government has warned Kenyans against dropping the guard, after increased cases of people not using masks in public places were reported.
Dr Aman said the government was concerned at a new habit by leaders who have been holding large meetings, and urged them to respect the measures put in place.
“We must respect these guidelines because that is the only way we will be able to beat the virus,” he said.
Concerns were raised after COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli convened a meeting at his Kajiado residence on Friday, attended by more that 50 leaders, among them four Governors and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, in what was billed as a Luhya-unity bid.