Over 600,000 people screened for coronavirus in Kenya, random screening starts on Saturday
The Kenyan Government has said over 600,000 people have been screened for coronavirus.
According to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, the screening was done at airports and other areas such as Ongata Rongai where the first patient lives.
Screening is conducted on a healthy individual who is not displaying symptoms of the virus but who may have been exposed to the virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says.
Testing, on the other hand, is for individuals who are displaying any of the symptoms directly related to the coronavirus (including fever, dry cough or shortness of breath).
On Thursday, CS Kagwe said the total number of those who have been tested in the country is 173.
“Out of this seven turned out positive. The seven patients are in stable condition and the Health Ministry has begun testing them again to see if they might have turned negative,” he said.
The CS also announced that the Health Ministry will begin random screening in selected areas for members of the public starting Saturday, March 21, 2020.
The exercise will be coordinated by the Health Ministry and will involve other stakeholders such as the Kenya Red Cross and security personnel.
He said the government is also structuring the team that is dealing with the virus.
“The Public Service Commission has today (Thursday) approved the remaining Ebola champions who have now been incorporated to assist in the COVID-19 response interventions,” Kagwe said.
He further noted that the public health team has also embarked on disinfection of various premises and locations in Nairobi.
The Health Ministry is liaising with county governments to conduct similar exercises throughout the country, the CS added.
CS Kagwe appealed to Kenyans who have been urged to work from home to adhere to the directives saying: “This is not a holiday season. It is time to fight a deadly virus.”
He warned against congregating in entertainment spots, bars and restaurants.
The CS further urged Kenyans to maintain high standards of hygiene in order to break the chain of transmission.
He said the Government has directed the involvement of the Nyumba Kumi leaders, sub-chiefs and chiefs to ensure compliance with directives from the government and World Health Organization.
This initiative is also expected to create small units that can manage the COVID-19 disease.
“If there is a problem within an area, sub-chiefs and chiefs would know very quickly in which Nyumba Kumi there is a problem,” CS Kagwe said.
He added: “We want citizens to take this very seriously. As much as a lot of our people are not taking it lightly, there are those people—skeptics–who continue to pour doubt on the seriousness of our situation. I urge members of the Fourth Estate to educate and affirm that this situation is real.”
The CS was adamant that coronavirus pandemic cannot be ‘unreal’ in Kenya when it is real in China, United States, Italy and other countries.
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