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Coronavirus: Italian man quarantined in Lamu

Friday March 20 2020
corona room

An isolation room at Mbagathi Hospital. The man is quarantined at Siha Hospital in Mpeketoni, Lamu County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By KALUME KAZUNGU

An Italian man who recently arrived in the country has been quarantined at the Siha Hospital, Mpeketoni, in Lamu West after he sought treatment at a local facility over a high fever.

According to Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia, the man is awaiting results of a coronavirus test after samples were sent to Nairobi.

The Italian, 74, is said to have fallen sick on Thursday after which he sought treatment at a private facility where he was diagnosed with high fever.

The man, who normally lives at his residential house in Mpeketoni with his Kenyan wife, was isolated immediately because of his recent travel history.

It was established that between March 3 and 4 this year, he travelled by Ethiopian Airlines from Rome, Italy, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He then travelled to Mombasa and finally to Malindi via a local flight before connecting to Mpeketoni by road.

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An official at Siha Hospital, who spoke to the Nation and requested to remain anonymous, confirmed that the Italian patient was indeed at the facility as his condition is closely monitored.

“He visited the hospital after falling sick. He had very high fever. His travel history forced us to isolate him immediately. He returned to Kenya recently after visiting Italy which is one of the countries affected by Covid-19. Though in a stable condition, we have had to extract his blood sample and sent it to Nairobi for coronavirus checks. People shouldn’t be worried. Let’s wait for the results. In the meantime, the man will remain confined at our facility for observation,” said the official.

When contacted, County Commissioner Macharia confirmed the incident, saying the patient was under close watch of medics in Lamu.

“I can confirm that there is a suspected case of coronavirus in Mpeketoni. There’s nothing to worry about ... Remember, it’s only the Cabinet Secretary for Health who can confirm a coronavirus case after thorough tests,” said Mr Macharia.

So far, Kenya has confirmed seven coronavirus cases.

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