Government reassures citizens on coronavirus

Saturday, February 15th, 2020 16:58 | By
Travellers are screened for Coronavirus at an Indian airport. Photo/COURTESY

The government has assured Kenyans that there is no cause for alarm over the coronavirus, the acute viral respiratory disease that has so far killed 1, 018 people.

The Ministry of Health said, despite a few suspected cases, there has been no single confirmation but ministry was working with other agencies continues to strengthening the country’s capacity to mitigate any potential importation of the virus.

Some cases of suspected coronavirus were reported in the country but all tested negative.

“To date, we wish to inform the public that Kenya has not had any confirmed case of COVID-19. The Ministry continues to maintain a heightened surveillance system at all points of entry, health facilities and communities across the country. So far, the Ministry, through its surveillance system, has been able to pick seven suspected cases who have all tested negative for the disease,” the ministry said in a statement Friday.

The ministry officials announced  it has the “necessary capacity for in – country testing”, and that there is an ongoing mandatory screening in all points of entry including Mombasa seaport to minimise the risk of importation of the virus from affected countries.

A total of 99, 706 travellers, according to the government were screened across various points of entry between January 20, and February 10, 2020.

Measures at entry points

 At least 400 health workers in both public and private health facilities and at points of entry have been sensitised on how to deal with suspected cases with additional health workers have been deployed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The isolation facility at Kenyatta National Hospital continues to be used to isolate suspected cases while they undergo investigation, and to improve capacity, the government has taken over a new ward with capacity of 120 beds at Mbagathi District Hospital.

As at February 11, 43103 confirmed cases and 1, 018 deaths had been reported globally out of which 42708 cases and 1017 deaths have been reported from China.

Thirteen days ago, national carrier, Kenya Airways suspended its flights from and to Nairobi and Guangzhou in China following the outbreak and wide spread of the dangerous coronaviras has at the time extended to 18 countries including United States of America.

Other countries with reported cases are Australia with nine confirmed  cases of the virus, Cambodia, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has since declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

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