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No coronavirus patient is admitted to KNH, state says

Thursday May 28 2020
By JILL NAMATSI

The government, the Health ministry and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) have denied reports of a confirmed case of the deadly coronavirus at the facility in Nairobi.

Their reports on Saturday followed claims on social media that a patient had been admitted.

The public has been more fearful since a China Southern Airlines plane landed on February 26, with 239 passengers on board.

The ministry said 13 of them were Kenyans, 193 Chinese and the rest on transit.

Following uproar over the risk that Kenya put itself in, the High Court on Friday suspended flights from China for 10 days and ordered that all those who arrived in that plan be quarantined at military facilities.

The airline suspended its flight but claimed it was because of a declining number of travellers.

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NEGATIVE RESULTS

KNH said information circulated on social media, regarding a confirmed case of the Covid-19 virus, was false and that the public should ignore it, while the Ministry of Health told the public that there was no suspected or confirmed case of the virus in Kenya.

It said, however, that two suspected cases were investigated at the KNH on Friday evening and that the results were negative.

"The public is advised to ignore false and alarming tweets circulating in the social media," the ministry said.

INCITEMENT

In a separate statement, Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna said the messages on social media were "false and inciteful".

Colonel (Rtd) Oguna also noted that "there is no positive case in the country this far".

"The public is requested to ignore such messages and is reassured that everything is under control," he added.

PREPARATION

The ministry reported on February 17 that a total of 320,123 travellers had been screened at points of entry to Kenya since January 20.

It also said it had responded to 17 alerts and that all the tests were negative.

On isolation facilities, the ministry said another at Mbagathi Hospital, which can take 120 beds, had been taken over by the national government.

On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered completion of the Mbagathi facility in seven days.

AFRICA CASES

The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019 and has so far killed more than 2,900 people, mostly in that country.

More than 85,000 are infected worldwide in at least 56 countries.

In Africa, cases have been reported in Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria, whose case was the first in sub-Saharan Africa.

On Friday, Zambian Vice President Inonge Wina said the government had taken steps to prevent an outbreak there.

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