The number of people in Kenya who have tested positive for the Covid-19 disease has risen to 38, the Ministry of Health said Saturday.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said seven more people had tested positive for the new coronavirus following analysis of 81 suspected cases in the last 24 hours.
They are four Kenyans, two Congolese and a Chinese citizen. Three of them are female and four male.
“Out of the seven, four had a history of traveling from countries with active transmission, one had travelled from Mombasa while two did not have a travel history,” he said.
CS Kagwe announced that Nairobi was still leading with 28 confirmed cases followed by Kilifi with six, Mombasa with two and Kwale and Kajiado with one each.
“The trend we have seen on increasing numbers is not a healthy one,” he said, and reiterated the need for members of the public to adhere to measures the government has taken to curb spread of the virus.
Regarding testing, the minister announced that 833 had been tested so far.
Mr Kagwe said Kenya’s first and third patients tested negative in their first retesting and that a third round of testing would follow in 48 hours.
He said contact tracing was ongoing and that out of 1,141 people who were being monitored closely, 163 were discharged after a 14-day follow-up period, leaving 978.
The ministry said that starting Sunday, people who arrived in the country last week will undergo mass testing.
While referring to Nairobi, he said, “There’s no single estate untouched by the 28 people mentioned and as we start mass testing we will get more positive cases.”
CS Kagwe also announced that he had undergone testing and that the result was negative.
He also said his son and a niece were under the mandatory quarantine.
According to a Reuter tally, the number of infections worldwide stood at at least 551,000 as at March 27 while the number of people who had died was 24,885.
As part of steps to prevent spread of the deadly virus, Kenya enforced an indefinite 7pm to 5am curfew starting Friday.
The first day was chaotic as some commuters were stranded at bus stops during the rush hour after work, with public transporters adhering to the directive.
Police in various locations were also pictured and recorded caning people who defied the curfew, raising the issue of brutality.
CS Kagwe did not speak in detail about the curfew but noted, “If we want to save Kenyans and avoid the experiences in other countries, we must social-distance and stay at home when told to.”
He also said, “If employers can stagger the working hours, we can reduce congestion in the city. Those queuing for public transport should observe social distancing.”
Regarding calls for a lockdown, he noted that the public is still struggling with a curfew.
“We must follow rules or expect tougher times ahead. Let’s work together to avoid a total and complete outbreak,” the CS said.
“The measures we are taking are to ensure we don’t get to a lockdown. We will look at all scenarios before we get to that. The biggest key to stopping the virus is changing behaviour, keeping distance and obeying directives,” he added.