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Kenya confirms eight more coronavirus cases

Sunday March 22 2020

PHILIP MOMANYI MAOSA
By PHILIP MOMANYI MAOSA
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Kenya has confirmed eight more cases of coronavirus, raising the total to 15.

In a briefing, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the patients, who comprise five Kenyans, two French nationals and a Mexican, have been isolated, as the 363 persons who came into contact with them are being traced.

Mr Kagwe said that all international flights have been suspended effective March 25 except cargo flights, whose crew must observe strict safety guidelines.

He said that the seven other patients who tested positive are stable.

"All the eight are imported cases from Europe and America. All the eight came through JKIA between March 4 and March 17. They have all been isolated at various facilities and are being monitored," he said.

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SOCIAL DISTANCE RULE

Mr Kagwe said the government's decisions are informed by successful approaches used by other afflicted countries.

Emphasising the effectiveness of hygiene and maintaining the social distance of one metre in curbing the spread of the virus, he said restaurants will remain opened but should only offer takeaway services. Bars will remain closed until further notice effective last night.

"Kenyans must treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves. If we continue to behave normally, this disease will treat us abnormally."

He announced additional precautionary measures:

  • Those coming into the country between now and March 25 will undergo mandatory quarantine at government isolation centres at their own expense;

  • Countries wishing to evacuate their nationals must make the arrangements within the given timeline;

  • All people who violate the self-quarantine requirement will be forcibly isolated for 14 days at their cost and thereafter arrested and charged;

  • All PSVs must adhere to the directive issued on Friday on passenger limits, failing which the sacco licence will be revoked;

  • Churches, mosques, and shrines have been closed, and funerals restricted to immediate family members.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said administration officers have been directed to enforce the rules. He said the government has established a command centre to ensure compliance.