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Kenya records first coronavirus death

Thursday March 26 2020

CORONAVIRUS, COVID-19

Kenya said on March 26, 2020 a 66-year-old man with underlying health issues who tested positive for the new coronavirus had died. FILE PHOTO  

NASIBO KABALE
By NASIBO KABALE
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A 66-year-old Kenyan man is the first person to die of the coronavirus in the country.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said in a statement yesterday that the man died at the Aga Khan Intensive Care Unit in the afternoon.

“The man, who was suffering from diabetes, had arrived in the country on March 13 from South Africa via Swaziland,” he said.

Kenya becomes the second country in East Africa after Sudan to confirm a coronavirus-related death.

In Africa, 43 countries have confirmed 2,412 positive cases. Fifteen countries have confirmed coronavirus deaths.

The first death in the country brings the total deaths in Africa to 73. The CS earlier this week expressed concerns about two patients who he said were of advanced age.

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“All the patients except two gentlemen are recovering well, the two are a bit elderly,” he said

The confirmed cases are aged between 20 and 67 years old and are currently isolated at various facilities. Three women aged between 30 and 61 have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total tally to 31 with one death.

Two of them are from Kilifi County and are believed to have come into contact with Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, who is in forced quarantine. The third is from Nairobi and came into contact with a previously confirmed coronavirus case.

The 31 cases are spread out in Nairobi, Kajiado, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi expressed concerns about Kilifi.

“As we speak, there are consultations over how our teams are going to handle Kilifi and other areas that are emerging as hotspots,” she said.

Dr Mwangangi said 74 samples from suspected coronavirus cases have been tested at the National Influenza Centre, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) in Nairobi and Kemri-Welcome Trust in Kilifi.

She said tracing contacts for the new patients and previous ones is under way.

“The new patients have already been taken into isolation in our facilities and are being monitored by our medical personnel, together with others who previously turned positive,” Dr Mwangangi said.