Kenyans to receive SMSs on coronavirus from Ministry of Health

Kenyans to receive SMSs on coronavirus from Ministry of Health

Kenyans will begin receiving messages from the Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus situation.

On Friday, some Safaricom customers received a text message that reads:

“Kenya Health Ministry will be sending info on coronavirus TOLL FREE line: 0800721316. Before roaming, Dial *265#, DONT MISS FREE Tips. Stop *456*9*5”

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the ministry has partnered with telcos such as Safaricom to send the free messages.

He said Kenyans will be getting information about the disease and what to do to reduce risk of infection.

Meanwhile, the second coronavirus isolation centre based at the Mbagathi hospital has been formally launched.

This after the World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom issued a warning to countries that had not set up such facilities.

The global health body had identified Kenya as a high risk country but Kenya has seemingly heeded with the 120-bed unit at Mbagathi and an 11-bed facility at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

A person exhibiting signs of the disease will be brought to the facility and nurses dressed in protective gear will receive the patient and wheel him or her to one of the wards.

To contain the spread of the lethal virus, anyone whose test results come out positive will be confined in a special room awaiting treatment.

While isolation units in other countries are seemingly sealed to ensure the contaminated air does not escape, there is rising concern over the safety of patients within the Mbagathi Hospital due to the open wards.

However, the ministry says measures will be enhanced should there be a positive case.

“We have ensured that this place is isolated from the facility, once we have an individual case the necessary measures that we will put in place will be totally different,” said Dr. Patrick Amoth, the acting Director General at the Health Ministry.

CS Kagwe added: “We didn’t show you the entire facility, there are rooms that have already been fumigated.”

He noted that over 1000 trained personnel have been deployed to the airports, the sea ports and all border points to facilitate screening.

5000 more are to be deployed to counties to train health workers.

“I have heard people say I passed this place and I was not screened you were screened you just didn’t know. Nobody is going to come to Kenya without screening,” the CS said.

He further urged those who have been advised to be self-quarantine to heed the directive.

Additional report from Chemutai Goin


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