Next two weeks extremely critical as Kenya seeks to contain coronavirus outbreak – Kagwe


Next two weeks extremely critical as Kenya seeks to contain coronavirus outbreak - Kagwe
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the Press briefing on coronavirus on March 20, 2020.

4 more people with coronavirus-like symptoms have been admitted to Mbagathi Hospital while one case tested negative and is being processed for discharge.

According to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, the remaining three are awaiting laboratory results as officials follow up on a case in Kilifi County: test results are expected on Saturday at 7am.

“Our actions continue to be guided by the trends we have observed in other countries. Evidence indicates that the number of those infected increases dramatically in the second week following confirmation of first case,” Kagwe said.

“The next two weeks are extremely critical for this country. As we seek to contain the outbreak we remain focused, emphasizing high levels of hygiene and maintenance of social distancing as the most effective containment measures,” he added.

The Health CS further stated that measures taken by the government will involve the concerted effort of all Kenyan citizens in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

He reiterated that every person must play their part in reducing the risk of transmission adding that self-quarantine applies to everybody including diplomats and international organizations.

All travelers are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days failure to which they risk arrest and prosecution under the Public Health Act Cap 242.

“There is a gentleman we have picked up in Kilifi because he refused to self quarantine. There is no reason for anyone to be embarrassed because of refusing to protect themselves and other Kenyans. When you refuse to self quarantine, you are exposing the rest of society to the potential of them getting the disease,” Kagwe said.

According to the CS, an order to self-quarantine is done in good faith and it is irresponsible of anybody required to do so to be “walking the streets, going to discos, shopping centres when you know you can infect other Kenyans.”

He said all public and private hospitals are to restrict visitations to family and relatives who have been contacted.

The said visitors will be only be allowed for facilitation of specific requests such as blood organ donation, payment of bills, discharge of patients and other necessary activities as prescribed by the hospital.

Kagwe restated that corporations and businesses should allow employees to work from home but where office access is necessary, employers must ensure that social distancing guidelines are adhered to. 

“We have noted that some companies are yet to comply with thisadvisory. Some financial organizations have told employees to continue as usual. They will be held in very bad light in future if anything were to happen in those premises. Your support will have significant impact on the trajectory of this disease,” he said,.

The CS said employers should also encourage workers to proceed on leave where possible.

And to ensure business continuity for manufacturers, Kagwe directed that factories operate with a minimum workforce but on 24-hour basis to ensure social distancing requirements.

“This will help with public transport of workers and where additional security is required, the government can provide the same upon request,” he said.

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