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Kenya confirms first coronavirus case

Patient is Kenyan national who recently traveled to US, says health official

13.03.2020 - Update : 13.03.2020
Kenya confirms first coronavirus case


Kenya on Friday confirmed its first case of coronavirus.

The victim is a Kenyan woman who recently traveled to the U.S. via London, local news site Daily Nation quoted Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe as saying.

The patient is getting treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital's infectious diseases unit.

The government said it is tracing all the people she came into contact with since her arrival to the country.

Following the first COVID-19 case, a person who has been in the country for eight days interacting with numerous people, the Kenyan government came up with measures to avoid an outbreak in the country.

The Health Ministry said it suspended all public gatherings, meetings, religious events and games, along with others.

It emphasized that routine religious worship services can go on on condition that sanitization and hand washing services are provided.

Schools in Kenya will remain open, however, all events among schools were suspended.

"Public transport providers are ordered to provide hand sanitizers for their passengers and maintain the regular cleaning of the vehicles," Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said.

All prison visits for the next 30 days were also suspended.

The Health Ministry also imposed restrictions on travels abroad unless absolutely necessary and no travel to the worst-hit countries.

Kenyans were warned not to abuse social media platforms or indulge in spreading misinformation that can cause fear and panic.

On Thursday, Kenya banned its athletes from traveling for international events.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to 123 countries and territories.

The global death toll is now nearly 5,000, with more than 132,500 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which declared the outbreak a pandemic.

*Andrew Wasike contributed to this story from Nairobi, Kenya.

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