State traces 22 people who were in close contact with first coronavirus patient

Sunday, March 15th, 2020 11:33 | By
Health officials at Ongata Rongai where the first coronavirus case was reported in Kenya PHOTO/COURTESY

The government has traced 22 people who had close contact with the first Coronavirus patient in the country and put them under isolation at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Their samples were collected according to the Emergency Response Committee, and are being tested at the Kenya Medical Institute (KEMRI) laboratories.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary, Mercy Mwangangi and Government Spokesman, Cyrus Oguna led a 24-member Committee in the press conference at KNH.

They said at KNH on Saturday evening, the government has also reached out to 23 other persons with different nationalities - who travelled with the Kenya woman using the flight's passenger manifest - and advised them to undertake self-quarrantine for 14 days.

"The ministry's rapid response team will follow them up on a daily basis until the 14 days are over," Mwangangi said.

Giving an update on the patient under isolation at KNH's Infections Diseases Unit (IDU), the Committee said she is in a stable condition, with normal vital signs and is cheerful and vibrant.

"The patient continues to receive care and treatment at KNH's isolation unit for infectious diseases. We thank her for taking prompt action and seeking prompt advise. And we wish other Kenyans will follow her example," the CAS said.

The committee also said that a Kajiado County government team in conjunction with MoH has fumigated the apartment block where the patient was a resident in Ongata Rongai town.

In other preparations, the Committee said two counselling centres have been set up at KNH and Mbagathi hospitals. "We have also deployed counselors who are to take care of the quarantined patients and their families. The Public Health Emergency Operation Centre has been fully activated to coordinate response efforts," the CAS indicated.

Further, a call centre has been set up to enhance communication on COVID-19.

"Members of the public are being urged to reach the call centre by dialing 719 for audio messages or *719# for short messages (SMSs). This will apply across all networks," the Committee said.

In another development, the Ministry of Health, is partnering with County governments and other stakeholders in engaging community health volunteers across the country to support awareness creation on COVID-19.

The other partners include; Kenya Red Cross, Africa Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), University of Nairobi, and Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF).

On Monday, Oguna said, the business community will come on board with a compact intervention to address issues that are geared towards dealing with the COVID-19.

SMeanwhile the government has urged Kenyans and business institution's including other social entities to continue observing basic hygiene practices such regular washing of hands; using sanitiser detergents to enhance cleanliness.

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