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Patient, 66, succumbs to virus as Kenya’s cases shoot to 30

By Irene Githinji
Friday, March 27th, 2020
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi addresses the press at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/Kenna CLAUDE

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe yesterday evening announced the death of one patient as a result of the coronavirus disease.

The 66-year-old male Kenyan citizen, who was admitted at Aga Khan University Hospital, lost the battle to the respiratory flu in the afternoon.

“We have received the sad news of the death of a patient who tested positive for coronavirus.

The man who was suffering from diabetes had arrived into the country on March 13 from South Africa, through Swaziland. My condolences to the family,” said Kagwe in a statement.

The news came even as one patient, who had been admitted at Mbagathi isolation unit, was discharged.

Acting Health Director General Patrick Amoth affirmed that World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols were followed, which require serial tests with two consecutive ones being negative. 

Kenya now has 30 cases  after three new ones  were confirmed yesterday in the wake of the government effecting the closure of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for all foreign flights.

In the last 24 hours, 74 samples from suspected cases of coronavirus were tested in various laboratories out of which three tested positive.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi yesterday said the 30 cases are spread out in five counties  of Nairobi, Kajiado, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale.

“All the three new confirmed cases are Kenyan females aged between 30 and 61. The three cases are close contacts of previously confirmed cases, two are from Kilifi and one from Nairobi,” said Mwangangi, during the daily press update on coronavirus.

The new patients have been taken into isolation in government designated facilities and are being monitored together with others who previously turned positive.

Tracing of contacts of the new and previous contacts is underway, with the government having monitored 1,029 people out of which 123 have been discharged after completing the 14-day follow up period.

Evacuate nationals

“We are now remaining with 906 close contacts that our tracing teams are monitoring. 18 individuals are currently admitted at Mbagathi hospital awaiting test results,” she said.

Although JKIA has been closed for international flights, Mwangangi said in the event there are countries that would like to evacuate their nationals from Kenya, it would be handled through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

More than 2,000 people who arrived into the country from Monday have been placed on mandatory quarantine and tests will be carried out on them after five days from the arrival date, in line with WHO guidelines on testing.

The CAS said consultations are ongoing on how to handle Kilifi and other areas emerging as hotspots and urged people at the Coast and Kilifi in particular to observe social distancing.

Amoth urged governors to observe the central reporting system to avoid causing panic, saying a patient from Kakamega is currently admitted at Mbagathi isolation unit.

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