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Kenya Coronavirus Update | COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates in Kenya

Actions to Take:

Quarantine Information:

  • Those entering Kenya must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government designated facility. Those taken into government quarantine will not be charged a fee for their stay at the facility.
  • If any person exhibits symptoms such as cough, or fever, they should present themselves to the nearest health facility for testing.
  • Medical quarantine will be extended an extra 14 days for those who test positive for COVID-19 in government quarantine facilities. 
  • On June 9, the GoK updated the list of approved quarantine facilities. There are nine government facilities and 53 participating hotels on the revised list.

Kenya is set to reopen its airspace for domestic flights, allow religious gatherings and inter-county tourism and travel in a bid to salvage its battered economy, even as the number of Covid-19 infections continue to rise sharply.

President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to review the months-long Covid-19 lockdown measures that are supposed to lapse on July 6, ending more than three months of strict shutdowns of different sectors of the economy.

“We will soon start domestic flights and this is what we will use as our trial in readiness for international travel over the next couple of days,” said President Kenyatta last week, pointing to lifting of a ban on travel into and out of Nairobi and Mombasa, the country’s biggest cities. It is however not clear whether the 9pm to 4am countrywide curfew will be lifted.

The reopening will be guided by protocols put in place in different sectors of the economy.

The tourism sector, which has been hard-hit by the government-imposed restriction on movement, has developed a set of re-opening protocols, which received a stamp of approval from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on July 1.

“I am delighted to announce that Kenya has been listed among the 80 global destinations certified and authorised to use the “World Travel and Tourism Council Safe Travel Stamp” together with our Magical Kenya Logo. This stamp will allow travellers to recognise Kenya as a safe destination once we reopen and implement the health and safety protocols,” said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. The protocols seek to ensure service provision meets required guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Kenyan authorities have extended the suspension of international passenger flights through to July 6 to further curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19); both cargo and repatriation flights are exempt from this measure. Authorities also announced that a nationwide overnight curfew will remain in place until July 7, lasting between 21:00 and 04:00 (local time). Medical professionals and essential service providers are exempt from the curfew.

On Saturday, June 6, the restrictions of road, rail, and air movements in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area, and Mombasa and Mandera Counties, were extended for 30 days. As such, no movement into or out of the two zones will be permitted for the duration of the measures, and public spaces will remain closed. The same restrictions will be lifted for the neighborhoods of Eastleigh (Nairobi) and Old Town (Mombasa), and Kwale and Kilifi Counties, on June 7 at 04:00.

Face masks or coverings must be worn at all times when in public and a distance of 1 m (3 ft) maintained from other people. Businesses have been ordered to provide soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer at building entryways. Those found in breach of the new measures could face a Sh 20,000 (USD 189) fine or six months of jail time.

As of June 6, there have been 2600 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 83 associated deaths nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

All international flights are suspended until further notice.

Any returning Kenyan residents are subject to self-quarantine or quarantine at a government-designated facility for 14 days upon arrival.

There are a number of local measures in place throughout Kenya:

  • Nairobi lockdown has been extended to 7 July
  • Restrictions on road, rail and air transport to and from the Nairobi Metropolitan area, and Mombasa and Mandera Counties are in place until 7 July
  • There is a nationwide curfew from 9pm to 4am
  • Face masks must be worn in public places
  • Social distancing rules apply when using private vehicles – anyone driving a car must fill only 50% of the vehicle’s seat capacity
  • The land borders with Somalia, Uganda and Ethiopia have closed, with the exception of cargo trucks.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has imposed a three-week ban on movement in and out of four main coronavirus “infected areas”, including the capital, Nairobi, before the usually busy Easter weekend.

In a televised address to the nation on Monday, Kenyatta stopped short of announcing a full lockdown within these areas but warned, “We must be ready to go even further if necessary.”

The order bars entry and exits in four regions of the country most affected by cases of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. In addition to Nairobi, they include the port city of Mombasa and the counties of Kilifi and Kwale.

“The cessation of movement within the Nairobi metropolitan area shall be for an initial containment period of 21 days with effect from 7pm” on Monday, Kenyatta said in the televised address.

“The movement of food supplies and other cargo will continue as normal during the declared containment period through road, railway and air,” he added.

Kenya already has a dusk-to-dawn curfew to contain the virus that has infected 158 people in the country, according to the government’s latest tally. Four people have died in Kenya from the disease.

The East African nation of 50 million people has 578 intensive care beds.

“We are at war and we must win,” Kenyatta said. “We must make a stand here, before COVID-19 starts to spread out of control,” he added.

Forty-three of Africa’s 54 countries have closed their borders, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than half of Africa’s 54 countries have imposed lockdowns, curfews, travel bans or other restrictions to try to contain the spread of COVID-19. Fifty-one of the continent’s countries have reported cases of the disease.

Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: International flight ban extended April 6-May 6 to curb spread of COVID-19 in Kenya. Further restrictions likely.

This alert affects Kenya

This alert began 05 Apr 2020 14:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 06 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
The government on April 5 extended the cancellation of all incoming international passenger flights through at least May 6 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Only cargo flights will be allowed to operate, but aircrews must follow strict regulations. Exemptions will be made for international flights chartered to evacuate foreign nationals; however, operators must give authorities at least 72 hours notice.

The announcement updates existing measures, including:

  • An indefinite nationwide curfew from 1900-0500. Critical and essential service providers, including health workers, are exempt from the curfew.
  • The closure of Kenya’s land border with Uganda since March 25. The closure applies to all pedestrians and vehicles, excluding cargo trucks.
  • Mass testing for international arrivals since March 22.
  • All individuals who have entered Kenya since March 22 must undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense. Foreign nationals who are currently under self-isolation may break quarantine only if they are asymptomatic.
  • Authorities have also ordered shops and transportation companies to undertake measures to keep people 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. Random screening in public spaces.

Travelers should observe the guidelines of the respective diplomatic missions and local officials and monitor local media for updates.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Kenyan authorities correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure – especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

LATEST UPDATE:   Tuesday 9th June 2020

The Kenya government announced on 15th March that all persons arriving on flights from all countries where there are cases of Coronavirus were required to self-quarantine for 14 days.  On 25th March the Kenya government suspended all incoming international passenger flights for a two week period. This ban was extended subsequently for a further period up to 6th July. The ban does not apply to flights which may come in to evacuate foreign nationals or to cargo flights with no passengers.

COVID-19 Kenya Government Statement, Sunday 15th March 2020:

  1. The Government is suspending travel for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported Coronavirus cases.
  2. Only Kenyan Citizens, and any foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to come in provided they proceed on self quarantine or to a government designated quarantine facility. This will take effect within the next 48 hours to cater for any passengers who may be en route. This directive will remain in effect for the next 30 days or as varied by the National Emergency Response Committee.
  3. All persons who have come into Kenya in the last 14 days must self-quarantine. If any person exhibits symptoms such as cough, or fever, they should present themselves to the nearest health facility for testing.

Gamewatchers Safaris: Flexible booking terms for customers planning to travel once the Kenya government allows visitors to come back on safari and beach holidays.
With the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to many countries in the world, including in North America and Europe, we understand the anxieties that many prospective travellers may have at this time and are fully sympathetic to those concerns. We are monitoring the situation closely and follow the advice of the World Health Organisation, international governments and the Kenyan authorities.

As a result of the government announcement to suspend travel into Kenya from infected countries for a further 30 days, we are temporarily revising our booking terms and conditions as follows for anyone booked to travel  within the next 30 days or to travel between 1 to 6 months from now:

• For people travelling in the next 30 days, for those in infected countries who are no longer able to travel to Kenya, we can postpone the booking and carry forward any prepayment to be used as a credit towards a new date of travel at a later time within the next 12 months once the restriction has been lifted to allow travel from the customer’s country.

• For those booked to travel in 1 to 6 months’ time (31 to 180 days) for anyone anxious or uncertain about travelling, we will agree to postponement with no amendment fee. For those postponing, we will allow payments made so far to be carried forward to later dates within 12 months of the originally booked date, subject to availability and added cost if there are seasonal differences in cost if travel is in a different season from the date originally booked.

The Kenyan government had already introduced a number of measures to prevent or limit the spread of the virus into Kenya including suspending flights from some countries, screening of arriving passengers at the airport and testing persons with a temperature or symptoms of a cold or flu. The latest move by the government is to suspend visits into Kenya by any persons from countries which are infected by Covid-19 for the next 30 days. In addition, the Kenya government has acted quickly to set up special well-equipped isolated treatment centres in Nairobi and elsewhere, following WHO recommended procedures, to look after anyone who might in future be suspected of having contracted the virus.

Because of  travel restrictions placed on both outward and inward travel at present by the governments of many countries throughout the world as a result of the Pandemic, we have introduced flexible booking terms so that once you have booked you can amend your travel dates to be postponed until later with no penalty so long as the pandemic continues and if the situation warrants this because of disruptions to travel.

For those making travel plans for this year we are committed to being flexible regarding amendments/postponement where necessary, and we will continue to update customers as the situation changes. For the latest details or to discuss your booking please get in touch with the Gamewatchers Safaris consultant who arranged your trip.

International flights suspended, quarantine measures implemented and a Daily Curfew

What is the change?

Effective March 25, the government has suspended all international flights until further notice and imposed mandatory quarantine on those arriving in the country before the flight suspension.

Key Points

  • All international flights are suspended, with the exception of cargo flights.
  • Those who arrived before the March 25 deadline must undergo quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense.
  • Kenyans who remain abroad after the deadline are advised to follow the guidelines of the country where they are located.
  • Kenya’s National Emergency Response Committee is imposing social distancing requirements, closing bars and banning religious gatherings. Restaurants are to remain open only for take-away service.
  • Effective Friday, 27th March, 2020; a daily curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. shall be in effect in the territory of the Republic of Kenya, with all movement by persons not authorized to do so.

Earlier this month, the government imposed a travel ban and limited immigration services to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Employers should prepare for significant disruptions to employee mobility and postponement of business travel. Foreign nationals are strongly advised to comply with self-quarantine measures, as those who disobey them may face 14-day quarantine in a government facility at their expense, as well as criminal prosecution. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

Update: March 19th, 2020

The Department of Immigration Services issued notices enumerating measures taken concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, which will affect current provision of immigration services.

What is the change?

In line with the Government of Kenya directives aimed at mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 disease in Kenya, the Department of Immigration has, with effect from 16 March 2020, communicated the decision to reduce access to their offices dealing with passport and foreign nationals management services.

The Department has further directed that only very urgent passport and foreign nationals management services will be provided until further notice.

Impact

The above restriction will affect work permit and pass applications submitted to the Immigration Department and are still awaiting processing and any new applications.

The Department of Immigration has however issued a notice that confirms that where a permit or pass has been paid for and issued in the Immigration system, it is deemed valid from the date of payment and will be collected and endorsed in the passport at a future date.

No official clarification has been provided on other pending applications. A further press release was issued on 17 March 2020 providing telephone contacts of the contact center and confirming that a dropbox has been provided to facilitate submission of applications.

In addition, all persons coming into Kenya from countries with reported COVID-19 cases will not be granted entry into Kenya except Kenyan citizens and foreigners with a valid residence permits. This directive will be in effect for 30 days from 15 March 2020 or such further time as will be advised by the National Emergency response committee. Therefore, it will be important to review travel plans in line with the Government directive.

We expect that there will be delays in the provision of all immigration services considering the restricted access. The Immigration Department has indicated that they will provide guidance in due course and we will closely monitor the situation and advise accordingly.

Country-Specific Information:

  • As of July 4, 2020 there are 7,577 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout Kenya, with 2236 recovered patients and 159 related deaths.
  • On June 6 the GoK announced that movement restrictions in and out of Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood and Mombasa’s Old Town neighborhood lapse as of 4:00 am, June 7. Movement restrictions into both Kilifi and Kwale counties also lapse as of 4:00 am, June 7.
  • On June 6 it was announced that nightly quarantine hours are revised to 9:00 pm to 4:00 am, effective the morning of June 7.  Those violating the curfew may be arrested and put in mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Those taken into government quarantine will not be charged a fee for their stay at the facility.
  • Public gatherings are prohibited.  On June 6, the GoK stated that protocols regarding re-opening places of worship will be devised “in the next seven days.”  The same June 6 announcement stated that the ban on political and social gatherings, to include bars, is extended for an additional 30 days.
  • Persons visiting a supermarket or any open-air market are required to wear a protective mask that covers the mouth and nose. Users of public or private transport are also required to wear a protective mask.
  • On June 6, movement restrictions in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa and Mandera were extended an additional 30 days.
  • On May 16th, movement restrictions were imposed into and out of Kenya through the Kenyan-Tanzania and Kenyan-Somali international borders, with exceptions for cargo vehicles.
  • On March 25th, the Government of Kenya suspended all international flights in and out of Kenya. On May 11th, the GoK extended the ban on commercial flights, with the exception of flights arriving to evacuate foreign nationals.  On June 6, the GoK announced that the Kenyan Ministry of Transport will develop protocols to reinstate domestic air travel.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the cessation of movement order that barred entry into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera Counties shall lapse on Tuesday at 4 am. He, however, extended the nationwide curfew by a further 30 days.

“By re-opening Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera, we are more at risk than we were when the restrictions were in place. We must, therefore, exercise cautious optimism, and avoid reckless abandon,” he said.

A caveat, however, is that the State may move to reverse reopening if Covid-19 trends become worrying.

“Should the situation deteriorate and pose a challenge to our health infrastructure, it shall be ‘clawed back’.  In the next 21 days, we shall study patterns of interactions and the spread of the disease.  Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to the lock-down at zero-option.”

Worship Centers 

Places of worship will also commence phased reopening in strict conformity with all applicable guidelines. However, he noted that no congregants under 13 or over 58 years should be allowed.

Those with underlying health conditions have also been cautioned against congregating to worship.

“In line with the guidelines issued by the Inter-Faith Council, only a maximum of a 100 participants will be allowed at each worship ceremony and not be more than one hour,” Mr Kenyatta said in his address to the nation.

Sunday Schools and Madrassas will remain suspended until further notice.

Transport Sector

In what will be a relief to aviation industry players and workers, local air travel shall resume July 15 under Ministry of Health and Transport guidelines. International travel, on the other hand, will resume August 1.

On the roads, public service vehicle (PSV) operators will require certification from the Ministry of Health to operate out of areas previously under cessation of movement.

“Conscious that movement of people is a catalyst for the spread of the disease, there shall be no movement of public transport vehicles into and out of the areas previously under cessation of movement restrictions, without the public transport providers being compliant with all protocols developed by Ministry of Health,” Mr Kenyatta said.

Health VS Economy

The Head of State noted that in announcing a phased reopening of the country, he and his team had to make tough decisions that balanced what was good for the economy and what made sense amid a public health crisis.

“Have we as a country met the irreducible minimum? Are we ready to reopen? According to experts we have not yet met irreducible minimums a 100 percent. But we have met a reasonable level of preparedness across our counties,” he said Monday.

“After much reflection, my administration opted for the health argument over the economic argument. More so because we can always revive an ailing economy; but we cannot bring back to life those who die from this pandemic. And with this as our chosen path, we set out to build the irreducible minimums.”

The government has extended closing hours of restaurants and hotels from 5.00p.m to 7.30 p.m daily with stern warning that those who break the law will have their operating licences revoked.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the adjustment was made following intense consultations between restaurant owners and the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) on COVID-19.

The  CS said that this will  allow hotel workers to beat the curfew hours and advised the operators to strictly adhere to protocols “The operators of these restaurants must however ensure they have thermo-guns at the entrance of the premises to screen clients for temperature, provide handwashing stations and soap at the entrance for clients and also provide sanitizers in strategic places at the facilities,” he said.

The owners must also ensure that every client entering the establishment wears a face mask, including food handlers and must give provision for social and physical distancing.

He noted that even though all restaurant workers must be tested before the opening of the restaurant, they will not need another test after 14 days unless the restaurant does not follow the protocols or a person shows symptoms of the disease.’

He instructed Public Health officials in their respective areas, to ensure that the guidelines are complied with.

The CS also announced that out of 3255 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 133 people have tested positive bringing the total number of positives to 3860.

Cumulatively so far 121,956 samples have been tested.All the positive cases are Kenyans, with 88 being males and 45 females. The youngest is 13 years old and the oldest is 90 years.

The 133 positive cases are distributed in Nairobi, 86 cases, Mombasa, 27, Kiambu, seven, Busia five, Kilifi, Kajiado, and Migori two cases each while Machakos and Muranga, have one case each.

Nairobi cases are from Westlands, 13, Embakasi South, 10, Makadara, nine, Langata, eight, Embakasi East, and Roysambu, five cases each, Starehe, four, Ruaraka, Embakasi Central, Dagoretti North, three cases each, Embakasi North, Embakasi West, Kasarani, Dagoretti South, and  Kibra one case each.

In Mombasa, the 27 cases are from Mvita, 16, Kisauni, six, Nyali, three, Changamwe and Jomvu one case each. The cases in Kiambu are from Kiambaa, three cases, Kabete, Juja, Kikuyu and Kiambu Town, one case each. Kilifi has two cases, one each one from Kaloleni and Kilifi North.

Kajiado has two cases, one case each from Kajiado East and Kajiado west, while Migori has two cases, one each from Kuria west and Kuria East. Machakos has one case from Athi River and Muranga has one  case from Kigumo.

The CS also announced that 40 patients were today discharged from various hospitals, bringing the tally of recoveries to 1,326. However, he announced that one more patient succumbed to the disease, bringing the total number of those who have died to 105.

During the event Dr Pacifica Onyancha , Head of the Preventive and Promotive Services said children’s diet and nutrition is necessary especially at this time of Covid 19 to build their immunity.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Health has implemented high impact interventions on policies and guidelines for child survival through promotion of immunization coverage at health centres.

“We are making sure there are scheduled appointments to avoid crowding and that the staff attending the clinic have their temperatures taken every morning,” she said.

The Government she added is promoting exclusive breastfeeding of up to 6 months and in the face of Covid,-19, mothers are advised to continue breastfeeding their children and if positive to use a mask even as they are breastfeeding.

Mothers and children, she explained, are fragile during this time  of Covid-19 and urged parents not to allow children under two years to wear masks.  Those who are under 5 should also not wear when at home or in a car because they can easily suffocate.

“Mental status of those taking care of the children as well as the mothers is detrimental and we are requesting those of you who need psychosocial support to seek help so that you don’t injure or affect the child ,” Dr. Onyancha said.

Today, the country is commemorating  the  Day of the Africa Child marked every 16th  of June.

The East Africa Community (EAC) and Regional Cooperation, Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed says the government is addressing the challenges facing Malaba border to clear the backlog that is affecting the transport corridor.

Addressing the media at the daily COVID-19 media briefing today the CS said that the blockage of road by the truck drivers was artificial and a serious issue which, the government is looking into.

“The issues have developed largely and created by our own truck drivers who have caused a 50-kilometer-long delay and now it is becoming a security threat,” he said.

He noted that trade within the EAC region remains a critical aspect of the economy, which is already experiencing the bad effects of coronavirus and cannot withstand the delays that is making the transport corridor to suffer.

“During pre-corona days it would take three days for a driver to go from the port of Mombasa to Kampala and back but with coronavirus now, that time has doubled and the economic consequence of this has been serious,” he said.

He noted that the government has taken a decision today to exercise all that is within its means to make sure that the corridor which was blocked by trucks is cleared and by today afternoon the four trucks that had blocked the entry into the Uganda side of the border are cleared and movement of trucks is reinstated,” he said.

He explained that the government expects the exercise of clearance to take four to five days and the government has asked all stakeholders including immigration department, port health, revenue authority and security to work for 24 hours to make sure the clearance is done.

On the issue of Kenyan drivers arguing that they are being charged during testing on the Uganda side, CS Adan urged them to heed to the government call of being tested 48 hours prior and advised them to undertake the test in Kenya which is free.

He also called on all truck drivers to exercise patience especially at this trying time of COVID-19, blocking the entry points of Uganda will not be accepted he sadded and noted that all arms of the EAC governments are collaborating  on the issue.

The CS for Transport James Macharia added that the transport corridor is important to the prevention of COVID-19 especially at the border points. “We agreed that the tests by truck drivers will be done by accredited health facilities using the WHO standards,” he noted..

President Uhuru Kenyatta has extended the nationwide curfew and the cessation movements in counties of Nairobi, Mombasa  Kwale,  Kilifi and Mandera till 6th June in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the advice of the National Emergency Response committee on coronavirus.

The President also announced that there will be cessation of movement of persons and passenger into and out through Kenya-Tanzania and Kenya – Somali border except for cargo, beginning midnight today.

“All drivers of the cargo vehicles shall be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 disease testing and will only be granted entry into the territory of the Republic of Kenya if they test negative,” the President said during his sixth address to the nation today.

He disclosed that the government will continue to take every measure to protect the lives of Kenyans from the COVID- 19 pandemic, and to plan for the recovery of the economy.

“I am as anxious as all of you, to get back to building this country.  However, we will only be able to do this the sooner we sharply suppress the growth of infections,” the President said after announcing 49 new positive cases of covid-19, bringing the total to 830.

“On a positive note l want to thank the dedication and commitment of our health care workers, we have discharged 301 individuals from our health facilities having registered full recovery since the onset of this pandemic,” he noted and thanked all Kenyans who are adhering to the health hygiene and social distancing measures.

However, the President also noted that for the past one week, the country has witnessed increased imported cases among individuals crossing into the country through borders making it a grave concern.

“Among the positive cases that have been registered in the country this week, a total of 43 cases have recently crossed the border from neighbouring Somalia and Tanzania and as of yesterday, the cases across the border were distributed in Wajir 14, Isebania 10, Namanga 16, Lungalunga 2 and Loitoktok one,” the President said .

If we had not undertaken this intervention, the imported cases through our borders would have today accounted for more than 50 percent of the week’s infections, he emphasized.

These numbers and the spread of infection clearly indicate that if no action is taken, ALL the gains already achieved in combating this pandemic will undoubtedly be at a loss, the President noted.

Currently there are 481 cases undergoing treatment. Globally, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 300,000 innocent lives as of this morning from 4.7 million infections.

Porous borders have become the latest high risk areas in the transmission of the Covid -19 disease and now our areas of focus, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Health, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said today.

The CAS disclosed that the Government is assessing the situation to recommend interventions, particularly for truck drivers who are now becoming the other weak link in the fight against the virus.

“Kenyans have been voicing their concerns regarding these emerging trends, at our borders and their porosity. I wish to inform you that, as members of the East African Community, we have been in constant discussion with our counterparts on how best this matter can be handled for the safety and well-being of our people,” she assured.

She revealed that the National Emergency Response Committee is monitoring the situation closely and will not hesitate to take any measures as the situation dictates.

Due to the nature of human interaction, it is not possible keep the virus from crossing the borders and no country has been able to achieve this, Dr. Mwangangi noted.

She  thanked the surveillance teams and health care workers who have come forth to combat the virus within the communities as well as identifying the high risk areas.

“I urge all Kenyans to remain calm and exercise patience as the Government addresses the panya routes being used get into our country,” she advised.

The CAS also appealed to the communities living within and around the border Counties, to actively exercise Nyumba Kumi community policing, be vigilant and report any suspicious individuals.

The government is appealing to Kenyans to report to the authorities any persons who recently moved into their neighborhood after the restriction of movement in and out of two estates in Nairobi and Mombasa.

The two estates of Eastleigh in Nairobi and Old Town in Mombasa were locked down for 15 days due to upsurge of Coronavirus cases in their respective areas.

Addressing the media today during the daily COVID-19 briefing  the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS)  for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman said the government is fully aware that the measures put in those areas may cause some inconveniences but assured the residents that the directives are aimed at protecting all.

“Some people have decided to sneak out of these areas and relocate to the neighboring estates. Let me caution you that this move is counterproductive because if you happen to be infected unknowingly, then you have just transferred the problem to another area,” he warned.

He instead appealed to the residents to continue washing of hands, maintaining social distancing, observing high standards of hygiene, wearing face masks and sanitizing where possible to help to bring back normalcy in these areas.

He also announced that all cross all cross border truck drivers will be required to be tested at the point of origin, and obtain a corona free certificate 48  hours before departure in line with the East African Community (EAC) member states on COVID-19 protocol.

Dr. Rashid also revealed that out of the 1075 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 25 people have tested positive for Coronavirus disease bringing the total number of those who have tested positive to 607.

This number, he added is growing and must be stopped adding that 22 of the positive cases are Kenyans, one is Ugandan, one Tanzanian and one is a Chinese National. The county of Isiolo County becomes the latest to record a Covid-19 case bringing to 18 the number of Counties so far affected.

He noted that 17 of the cases are from Nairobi, 2 from Wajir, 2 from Kajiado and  one each from Mombasa, Migori, Isiolo and Nakuru. In Nairobi  9 cases are from Eastleigh, Kawangware (2), Parklands (2), Riruta (1), South C (1), Umoja (1) and Juja Road (1). In Mombasa the one case is from Likoni, while in Nakuru it is from Solai.

Out of the 25 cases 21 are males and  4 are women both aged between eight years for the youngest and 73 years for the oldest.

The government has also additional 7 new discharges bringing the  total number of those who have recovered from the disease to 197. “We are equally saddened that we have lost 3 patients, two from Nairobi and one from Mombasa bringing to 29 the number of deaths from the disease,” he said.

He also announced that the Government has made plans to evacuate Kenyans who had travelled to India for treatment and that they are expected to land this evening at JKIA. The patients, he explained will be  home quarantined under the care of their medical doctors.

Meanwhile, Dr. Patrick amoth,  Acting Director General, Ministry of Health  said  deaths at community level is a becoming concern for the government.

“Yesterday we had deaths in Mombasa at community level a sign of intense transmission of the disease,  and we have seen a similar pattern  developing in Eastleigh when today we had a community death,” he added.

Deaths that occur at community level, Dr. Amoth  explained are signs that these people have a severe form of the disease therefore there are most symptomatic and thus are heavy shedders of the virus.

Those  who take care of them and those who are in close proximity to them are at a very high risk of acquiring the infection from them  Dr. Amoth said and thus appealed to everyone feeling unwell with any of the signs and symptoms of  covid 19  to call 719 so that the  rapid response team can quickly be able to attend to them .

As of today, the DG said that there are 195 people admitted in the various hospitals with COVID-19.  H also decried the new cases of infections in Migori and Wajir where we are dealing with  import cases from the neighboring countries of  Tanzania and Somalia arguing that the government is putting in place measures to ensure that anybody who comes through the informal border entry point are screened and urged the communities to become gatekeepers and alert  the government.

The Government has banned movement in and out of Eastleigh area in Nairobi and Old town in Mombasa to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The cessation of movement in the two places comes to effect today 6th May, 2020 from 7 p.m. for the next 15 days, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health Sen. Mutahi Kagwe announced during the daily COVID-19 media briefing.

The CS also ordered the closure of markets, restaurants and eateries in the affected areas and announced that residents will however be allowed to walk within the area since the government does not want to lock people in the houses.

“What this means is that public transport in those areas will not be allowed in or out. If  you have a colleague in Eastleigh, don’t let them come and stay with you, if they have not taken the test,” he said.

He emphasized that the measures are not intended to punish the affected residents but aimed to ensure that the disease is identified, isolated and contained.

He also confirmed that 47 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of those who have tested positive to 582. Out of this number, 32 are from Mombasa, 11 from Nairobi, 2 from Busia,  1 from Kiambu and 1 from Kwale.

In Mombasa,  the cases are spread in Mvita 25, Changamwe 2, Likoni 3, and Kisauni 2. In Nairobi, Eastleigh has 5 cases, Kasarani 2, Kibra 1, Umoja 1, Dandora 1 and Karen 1. Thirty one of the cases are male and 16 are female, ranging from  8  years for the youngest to 73 years for the oldest.

Despite the rising numbers,  CS Kagwe noted that the country has equally recorded eight 8 new discharges bringing the total number of those who have recovered from the disease to 190.

He also noted that the country  has lost lost two more people from Mombasa county bringing to 26 the number of people who have lost their lives due to the disease.

He announced that the government will now meet the cost of targeted testing and quarantine effective form today. “Kenyans should therefore not be afraid to be tested,” he added and appealed to institutions to be accountable for all the equipment they are issuing to health care workers..

“As we continue to provide protective equipment to our health care workers, we have observed that there are unscrupulous individuals who are selling this equipment particularly the PPE’s. I want to warn such individuals that this is criminal and legal action shall be taken against them,”,Kagwe said,\

At the press conference the CS for Transport James Macharia also announced that all truck drivers going to neighbouring countries shall be tested 48hrs before departure. “This applies to drivers coming from other countries,” he noted and added that the drivers COVID-19 certificate shall be renewed every 14 days.

He also announced that only essential services such as loading & off-loading will remain at the Port of Mombasa. The number of employees shall also be reduced from 6,200 to 4,000 and instructed everyone using commuter Train to follow measures at the Railway Station.

The CS disclosed disclosed that a brand new ferry has been introduced at Likoni Ferry to ensure social distance while flower export shall be sustained by adding 12 more airlines.

“All patients coming home from India and other countries will be released to their doctors & quarantined in premises recommended by the doctors,’ CS Kagwe noted.

The government is warning boda boda operators against being used to fluot  movement restrictions in and out of the designated counties of Nairobi, Kwale , Mombasa and Kilfi.

We have also noted with serious concern, that our Boda Boda operators are not fully observing the directive of carrying only one passenger and wearing face masks,” said Hon. Mutahi Kagwe, the Cabinet  Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe during today’s media briefing on coronavirus.

He noted that the riders risk not only their bikes being impounded by the authority but also their livelihoods. “ Let me remind you that we will not hesitate to introduce even stiffer measures in the best interest of the country,” he warned them  and  urged  all other operators to compel with the rules set.

The CS called on small businesses to take the necessary precaution while operating in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “Our country’s economy relies on salonists, mama Mbogas and barbers but we have noticed a lot of abuse when it comes to social distancing in this sector and I am seeking their cooperation, so that the government does not have to take extreme measures to achieve compliance,” he warned.

“We cannot allow Kenyans to die because of non-distancing in any sector, so l am appealing to those of you who are carrying out the hair cutting business and saloons to ensure social distancing, fumigation of working places and ensure masks are used at all times,” he stressed.

The CS highlighted that although there are gains in the government collaborative efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, the level of exposure on how face marks are being sold in the streets is worrying and urged the the public to take necessary precaution to maintain their level of hygiene arguing that the masks remain a high risk area of infection.

The CS lauded the efforts being done by the County Government of Kitui, through the Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC).  The facility is now producing an average of 30,000 facemasks per day that are certified by KEBS and will be available to the public.

At the same time, CS Kagwe cautioned  Kenyans against traveling within their countries during this Easter holiday and urged them to stay in their houses and within their estates.

“Because people are not going to work places and they are no parties, no bars then where are you going,” he posed and made  a  special  plea to all Kenyans to strictly stay at home, and to continue observing all the other measures the government has put in place.

“Do not host parties, and make the usual Easter visits. Stay at home. By people staying at home they will not only be helping the government but will also be protecting themselves from contracting coronavirus,” he advised.

The Government has extended the quarantine period for another 14 days after those in quarantined areas failed to maintain the optimal social distance and hygiene measures.

Speaking during the COVID-19 press briefing today the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe expressed disappointment with some of the people under quarantine who he said have disregarded the social distance directive by even holding parties.

“The government has now instructed medical officials to extend the quarantine for another 14 days because those people might have interacted with positive cases, he argued and noted that the Ministry has started moving persons who are in designated facilities depending on their status to prevent them from infections.”

The CS  announced that four people have tested positive of coronavirus disease bringing the total of those who have tested positive to 126.

The government he added has now operationalised and designated Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital to handle COVID-19 cases and is  currently handling 20 patients.

To avoid congestion the Ministry has also made arrangements for home based care.

The four positive cases among them three Kenyans and one Pakistani were in a cluster of 300 people who were tested and 72 samples analysed in the last 24 hours.

Three were three male and one female, two of which had travelled from Malawi and Pakistani, while one got the disease locally.

Out of the 2050 people who have been in mandatory quarantine, the CS said 1866  have been tested and those remaining are 184.

“Contact tracing is the largest activity of the government and so far out of 1781 contacts monitored 1100 people have been discharged and 672 people are being monitored in the follow up programme,”Kagwe said.

He revealed that the largest number who have tested positive are those that are under quarantine and are more likely to cause more transmission among those who have been sharing the facilities hence the directive to move them.

The CS also appealed to the youth in the country to join in the efforts being undertaken to combat the Coronavirus Disease. He urged the youth to become part of the programmes of the government in combating the disease. “The youth are the biggest component of our society and also people who are largely mobile and have got energy to help in fighting the disease,” he said. \

“The youth must become part of the solution to the programmes by taking measures, such as not travelling upcountry, organizing themselves as they have been doing so in terms of  sanity in matatu saccos , markets , cleaning exercises and even in sporting activities. If they organize themselves in the similar format and responsibly they can create a difference between the way we are handing things in the Kenya compared to others countries,” he noted.

He also re-emphasized that its the responsibility of every person to ensure measures such as social distancing are adhered to. “ We cannot police social distancing and therefore you can only take responsibility,” he said.

The CS also directed those going to supermarkets to use masks and those using public transport as well.‘ I want to urge any person visiting a supermarket or open air market to wear protective masks to prevent transmission in those areas,”he said .

He noted that the local manufacturing of Personal Protective equipment will keep health workers safe and secure and revealed that KEMRI is now involved in serious research to produce test kits locally.

He also sent his condolences to the family of Captain Daudi Kibati, the pilot who evacuated Kenyans from New York and is being buried today.

“Together with his colleagues, they took a major risk and he was able to evacuate many Kenyans but only for him to succumb to the disease. He made the ultimate sacrifice, Kenyans owe him a great deal,” the CS said.

The Ministry of Health Acting Director General, Dr. Patrick Amoth added that statistics have shown that more men than female are being infected, currently 57 percent men and 43 percent women locally.

He revealed that the country age distribution on Coronavirus  is ranging from 2 years old to 72 years with a case fatality rate of 3 percent which shows we have made progress compared to countries such as Italy, Spain and United States.

“Tough times are ahead. Let us not lower our guard and together if we work as we are doing we shall overcome,”,Dr. Amoth said.

Kenya.pngMost governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These nationwide closures are impacting over 60% of the world’s student population. Several other countries have implemented localized closures impacting millions of additional learners.

UNESCO is supporting countries in their efforts to mitigate the immediate impact of school closures, particularly for more vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, and to facilitate the continuity of education for all through remote learning.

Online learning during the coronavirus pandemic is providing opportunities to hundreds of students in northeast Kenya, where school was cancelled even before COVID-19, as teachers fled terrorist attacks.  The al-Shabab militant group killed six teachers and four students in Garissa county in January and March.  But distance learning is allowing teachers and students to safely complete the school year, a practice that many in the area hope to continue after the pandemic.

Eighteen-year-old Halima Abdinoor, a high school student in Garissa, northeastern Kenya, says all she needed was online learning to finish her education.

“We only covered three chapters and in physics its always ten subjects,” said Abdinoor. “So were really behind in that subject, and in these online classes in just two months, we have finished, and we did the revision.”

Abdinoor’s school closed in January when instructors backed by the Teachers Service Commission, or TSC, withdrew from the area due to insecurity.  All schools in Kenya closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shutdown left Abdinoor feeling helpless.

“It was really very hard for us, we were so worried, and we have been waiting for it, it is our final year,” said Abdinoor. “We have been struggling since primary then secondary, it is our final year, and we had no teachers. We have been very worried. So this lockdown came and became another problem for us.”

But with a smartphone and internet, students can learn and finish their course work.

Moustapha Kassim is one of the teachers helping students like Abdinoor with their online studies.  He says in just two months, the students mood changed from hopelessness to joy.

“In the last two months we have been able to run through because we were having about five days a week two hours, we were able to run through all the topics that they were supposed to have done,” said Kassim.  “They were in despair. They didn’t know if this would work, and by the end of the day after two months, they were happy. They joined the group.”

Fatuma Dubow of the “Northern Innovation and Empowerment Hub,” an organization that helps women and youth in the region, says online learning can save students in the area now and in the future.

“Northeastern is still insecure, and the teachers from TSC will not be posted again, there will be issues, so this is something that will continue post-COVID, and our plan is to work now directly with the schools and to have proper tech set up and to have teachers in other areas of Kenya still support these kids,” said Dubow.

The women’s organization, which consists of professionals from the region, has hired three science teachers to help high school candidates to prepare for their exams.

John Kemuru teaches chemistry.  He says the students can benefit from the current program even when schools reopen.

“This is something you can teach even if you are far from each other. Therefore you can be able to reach them as long as there is that online platform that’s continuing,” said Kemuru.  “The students will be very much catered for so I think is going to help them much even after we resume schools.”

Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir counties, have experienced numerous terror attacks targeting schools, government facilities and security forces.

In the worst incident, al-Shabab attacked Garissa University College in 2014, killing 150 people, most of them students.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused far-reaching disruptions to normal life globally. Education, like many other aspects of life, has been disrupted as schools were ordered shut in many countries.

In Kenya, this closure of learning institutions has inspired an evolution in education. Teachers now hold online classes in a bid to keep the country’s students learning.

CGTN Africa visited one school in Nairobi offering online education as students and pupils remain holed up in their homes as a way of further preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“It was not easy for us at the beginning because we work with very young children. Some of our children are 18 months, to six-year-olds. And so, when we launched that to the parents, that we would be going on with the virtual classes, we had quite a lot of anxious parents who doubted that was for them, for their ages, but yes, we had the will and so we pushed for it. And luckily the parents along the way, yes, supported that. And so it has a sort of now worked, it is working,” said Phyllis Kamau, the Director at Pink Tower Children’s House.

Every day, teachers engage children in virtual classes to ensure continuity of the learning process. The children have grown to love the sessions as they get to not only continue their education, but also interact with their classmates albeit online.

A visit to one of the classes shows just how enjoyable the lessons are for the children. The classes are filled with laughter, jokes and songs which makes them very inviting, especially for the young learners.

For teachers, the new form of learning requires just as much discipline as the physical classrooms.

“We have our ground rules just like we had in (physical) class that guide us in our classes. So, we have come up with online rules that we tend to follow,” said Ann Nduta, a teacher at Pink Tower Children’s House.

“It’s quite a challenge with them at home. I would say that. But as teachers, we come up with our own hacks to make them listen. They want to learn and this is what we have since we can’t come to school.”

Parents have also grown to love the online classes, despite it demanding more of them.

As children take their classes at home, their parents are forced to take a keener interest in their sessions and progress of school work.

“You become more ingrained in what your child is actually doing because there is a lot of drawing, there is a lot of number work, there is a lot of hidden tests and stuff. So, you find yourself at least you are at the forefront of what your child is doing and you know exactly what they are learning. Because before we just used to get like a daily report of what they have done. But now you can see and track through exactly what it is they have been doing and how they are coping in school,” said Michael Karanja, a parent of two children taking online classes.

Phylis is confident the experience gained form the online classes will come in handy in Kenya’s quest to incorporate more digital learning in its education curriculum.

The current government pledged to introduce digital learning aids to pupils and students as a way of digitizing education and ultimately preparing students better for the ever-growing digital space.

“If they (the government) would go ahead and roll that, even if not now, but in faces along the years, then I think it would be a very good thing because remember, even after this pandemic, should everyone adopt these or not, a teacher would easily run a class online and still be able to achieve whatever it is that they wanted to achieve with their students. I think it would be a good thing if everyone would, would access that computer somewhere,” said Phylis.

As Kenya continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the government hopes to make positive strides that would allow it safely reopen, ultimately allowing schooling to resume.

The Cabinet Secretary in the Education Ministry, George Magoha, said last month the government is targeting September as a possible time o reopen schools with advice from health experts.

n March 15, 2020, the Kenyan government abruptly closed schools and colleges nationwide in response to COVID-19, disrupting nearly 17 million learners countrywide. The social and economic costs will not be borne evenly, however, with devastating consequences for marginalized learners. This is especially the case for girls in rural, marginalized communities like the Maasai, Samburu, Turkana, Pokot, Marakwet, and Sabaot, and in coastal regions; refugee children in Kakuma and Dadaaab refugee camps; and children with disabilities.

EDUCATION EXCLUSION

Since schools closed in Kenya, the ministry of education and other agencies have indicated that learners should undertake online learning or technology-mediated learning on TV, radio, ed-tech apps, and mobile phones.

While such learning may take place in urban areas, for many marginalized children in remote villages—including refugee children in camps as well as those living with various disabilities—learning during COVID-19 school closures is a deep challenge. Learning mediated through ed-tech remains out of reach for many disadvantaged children due to connectivity challenges. In remote parts of Kajiado, Narok, Samburu, Turkana, and Kilifi counties, for example, electricity does not reach households, excluding children from online learning.

Additionally, smartphones are beyond the reach of most rural communities. Even when adults have smartphones, tensions around privacy and kids’ unsupervised internet use render access for learning nonexistent. And where electricity and technology do exist, the cost of the internet is prohibitive. Such disadvantages present challenges for rural families and learners who must compete with their more privileged peers during national examinations.

LEARNING LOSS

The quarantines and curfews imposed by governments as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic also lead to learning loss. If children experience learning loss during normal extended school holidays, it remains to be determined how much learning will be lost during extended emergency closures.

For rural children of parents with low literacy levels and limited education resources, this risk of learning loss is heightened. Not only are these parents frustrated at having to homeschool without adequate preparation, they also cannot reinforce their children’s learning. Intermittent online learning is not effective for students already behind, and radio learning cannot replace classroom learning as it is intended to supplement knowledge that children already have.

NUTRITION AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES

School closures also have implications for learners who rely on school feeding programs as a main source of nutrition. With everyone now at home, families’ ability to provide food for their children has been even further reduced. In such poverty, securing food takes precedence over learning.

For instance, the closure of schools in Kenya has also coincided with the planting seasons where poor families are likely to take advantage of labor provided by children at home. This is especially the case for girls and young women whose duties include working on farms, household chores, and caring for family members.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND EXPLOITATION

Anecdotal evidence suggests that rural girls are likely to be used to cushion families’ income, which further exposes girls to sexual exploitation and gender-based violence. This places girls at especially high risk of health and reproductive crises, including forced female genital mutilation, as well as early marriage, which puts girls at high risk of dropping out when schools reopen.

Decreased mobility from quarantines and curfews also restricts girls and women from essential protection services and support networks, further diminishing their autonomy.

CONCLUSION

While COVID-19 has affected nearly all learners globally, school closures have exacerbated already existing inequalities for marginalized learners and come with a host of unintended consequences for vulnerable girls. We must put in place protections for vulnerable girls and ensure that they have access to life-saving education.

Schools in Kenya have been closed to 17 million students since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted education for nearly 1.3 billion students worldwide.

The dominant alternative model for education has been tethered to internet access and broadcast stations.

But what happens to children who live in households without access to technology or an internet connection?

We head to Kenya to find out with Catherine Soi, Al Jazeera journalist in Nairobi, Kenya; Justin Sandefur, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development; and Evelyn Jepkemei, an educational adviser at World University Service of Canada.

On Sunday, August 16, it was reported that more than 300 private colleges had shut down following the pandemic’s financial challenges.
Many institutions were forced to shut down after the business climate became intolerable with landlords demanding maximum monthly rent payment amid dry-running income streams from the colleges.

The Kenya National Association of Private Colleges (KNAPC) wrote to the Ministry of Education on August 3 demanding a bail-out scheme, adding that the colleges had enrolled more than 260,000 students.

“It is unfortunate that the previous day we needed data for the Presidential Delivery Unit, only 410 institutions responded.

“So we have 300 institutions that ave folded up because they cannot be able to meet costs,” stated Ekra.

She further clarified that it was difficult for the institutions to incorporate virtual learning, as most of the courses offered involved realistic involvement.

“If we look at the medical students, there are people who lose an opportunity to operate during a pandemic for a lifetime.

“We have institutions such as the private TVETs which teach tailoring. These students have to do hands-on research. How do you do that in a pandemic? “She was curious.

In their appeal, colleges pleaded with the government to allow them to operate from September, rather than January 2021, with the phased reopening.

The association also urged the state to offer affordable e-learning as well as Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) and Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB) exams.

This came roughly two weeks after the Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) announced an imminent closure of 124 private schools asking learners to look for alternatives.

KPSA Chairman Peter Ndoro warned that the situation could get worse and the effects could trickle down to public schools.

Kenya Coronavirus Update 20th June: Kenya to Prioritize Mental Health in Response to COVID-19

Kenya Coronavirus Update 20th JuneThe Ministry of Health Kenya and partners are continuing to take action to help Kenyans whose mental health and wellbeing are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry is providing mental health and psychosocial support strategies and measures which are critical in the short and long term response to COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Administrative Secretary Health, Dr Rashid Aman, said today.

He pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous health, socioeconomic and psychological impact on the population.

Globally, the pandemic is associated with increasing daily infections, deaths, social disruption, economic loss and anxiety and uncertainty about the future which results in emotional strain and fear about contagion, health, safety and livelihoods for the population. READ MORE…

Korean Embassy Donates COVID-19 Kits to Kenya worth 400,000 USD

Korean Embassy Donates COVID-19 Kits to Kenya Yesterday the Ministry of Health Kenya, Principal Secretary (PS), Susan Mochache received a donation of test kits worth 400,000 USD from the Korean Government towards the fight against Coronavirus COVID-19.

The donation, comprising 17,000 test kits and 50,000 masks, were delivered by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Excellency Choi Yeonghan at Afya House.

The Principal Secretary said the donation will go a long way in supporting the country’s report and emphasized that all resources will be directed to critical areas. She stressed that every county is expected to have a minimum of 300 isolation bed capacity as per the president’s directive.

“We are encouraged to know that our brothers and sisters in Korea are standing with us during this difficult time. We say Asante!,” she said. READ MORE…

Kenya Coronavirus Update: Kenya Launches Home Based Isolation and Care Guidelines, for Patients with COVID-19

Kenya Launches Home Based Isolation and Care GuidelinesThe government of Kenya has launched the Home Based Isolation and Care Guidelines, for Patients with COVID-19. The guidelines which are available at the Ministry of Health website have been developed to provide a solution in the management of the increasing numbers and the anticipated surge in the COVID-19 cases.

The guidelines were unveiled by the Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr Rashid Aman during the daily COVID -19 briefing at Afya House.

Currently, the available data in the country shows that 78 per cent of the infected persons, admitted in hospitals are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and therefore can be managed at home provided proper laid down procedures are followed. READ MORE…

Kenya Coronavirus Updates for 17th June: Kenya Records the Highest Number of Covid-19 Cases

COVID-19 casesUnlike yesterday, today the Ministry of Health Kenya has today recorded another high number of 184 positive cases of COVID-19. Testing and accuracy of the testing are now becoming increasingly important as the numbers rise, the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health Dr. Rashid Aman, announced and cautioned against unapproved testing kits that purport to diagnose Coronavirus COVID 19 that have permeated the market.

“I am alerting Kenyans to be aware that the only kits supposed to be used are the real-time kits that utilize the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), that have been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He explained that today’s 184 positive cases were from a sample size of 2,518, tested in the last 24 hours and warned that such figures have the potential to quickly overwhelm the healthcare facilities. READ MORE…

The Government has disbursed a conditional grant of Kshs. 5 billion to all the 47 counties aimed at bolstering the level of readiness in the health facilities.

While making the announcement today Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe advised the counties to prioritize their needs in accordance with the funds provided. He emphasized that “It is upon the County Governments to utilize these funds to safeguard the lives of  the people and noted that counties should ensure that the local health facilities are well equipped, and healthcare workers are adequately catered for.”

“If our Counties are fully prepared and have the necessary infrastructure in place, then we shall have nothing to worry about,” he added and noted that this does not mean the money will replace what the Ministry has been supporting in terms PPE supply and others.

The CS further noted that with the fight against the COVID 19 raging, over 80 per cent of patients in hospitals are asymptomatic, and therefore, may be managed from home.

If it is implemented, Kagwe said this will free the health facilities from congestion. “Currently our Mbagathi and Kenyatta University Referral and Teaching Hospital are getting too full status,” he disclosed.

The Ministry of Health he explained is in the process of actualizing home and community-based care protocols, for roll out to be implemented countrywide.

“What this means is that a lot of people who are in isolation facilities may be released to be taken care of at their homes provided it is in accordance with new WHO protocols. We are still looking at how we will customize and domesticate, as we look at the facilities the families may have,” he said today.

The Government has rolled out short term and long term interventions to cushion the vulnerable members of the society and to revamp the economy.

The interventions include the weekly stipend of Kshs. 1,000, to those adversely affected by this COVID -19 pandemic.  “To date, the Government has disbursed over Kshs. 1 billion in support of this initiative,” the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman disclosed today.

This program is complemented by the Kazi Mtaani program, which has employed over 26,000 youth to help enhance standards of hygiene, within urban centres, Dr. Aman said and revealed that so far the Government has paid out over Kshs. 350 million to the youth already enrolled in this program.

“Plans are underway to expand it to recruit over 200,000 youth spread across the whole country, he disclosed even as the Government continues to fund the Inua Jamii social protection program, which targets to cushion the elderly and other vulnerable people in the society, he added.

“In the current Financial Year, the Government has injected over Kshs. 26 billion into this program which has benefitted over one million members of the society,’ Dr Aman said.

These programs are all part of an elaborate Government strategy to protect the people and to revamp the economy. Recently, His Excellency the President unveiled an 8-point economic stimulus package, valued at Kshs. 53.7 billion, to aid in boosting the recovery of the economy. These are all efforts targeted at mitigating the impact of the pandemic, he said.

“All these initiatives are predicated on how our coronavirus infection curve behaves. If the curve rises exponentially, it will certainly undermine whatever initiatives that the Government has put in place to revamp the economy,” he noted and added that the behaviour of the infection curve is totally dependent on our behaviour the people.

“Each of us has a role to play. Adopting responsible social behaviours to break the transmission chain of the virus is of vital importance.  We must, therefore, continue to strictly observe the containment measures and obey the advisories issued by the Government,” he stressed.

Today the Government has reported 74 more cases of people who have tested positive for Coronavirus out of 1,574 samples tested in the last 24 hours.

The positive cases in the country now stand at 1,962 while cumulatively the government has so far tested 78, 536 samples.

Giving the situation report on the Covid-19 today at Afya house, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Rashid Aman noted that the number of positive cases keep on rising and there is need for behavior change.

“Each of us has a role to play. Adopting responsible social behaviors to break the transmission chain of the virus is of vital importance.  We must therefore, continue to strictly observe the containment measures and obey the advisories issued by the Government,” he said.

He acknowledged that the greatest challenge in continuing spread of the cases is in the informal settlements because of maintenance of social distance  but noted that the government is working closely with the  Nairobi county health team to try and trace all people who have been in contact with those who have tested positive.

He noted that out of the 74 new cases, Nairobi has 35, Mombasa 23, Busia six, Kiambu, Kwale , Uasin Gishu and Kajiado have two cases each while Kilifi, Taita Taveta and Laikipia have one case each.

“Laikipia becomes the latest County to record a case, bringing the tally of counties affected so far to 34,” Out of the 74 cases, 55 are male while 19 are female all aged  between three years for the youngest and 79 years for the oldest.

In Nairobi the 35 cases are from Langata which has 19 cases, Embakasi East and Embakasi Central three cases each, Dagoretti North, Westlands, Embakasi South, two cases each, Kasarani, Kamukunji, Makadara, and Starehe, one case each.

In Mombasa, the 23 cases are from Mvita 11, Kisauni has two cases, Likoni and Nyali have three cases each, and Jomvu and Changamwe one case each. In Busia, the six cases are from Alupe mandatory quarantine, which has five cases and Malaba point of entry, one case.

In Kiambu, the two cases are from Ruiru and Limuru while in Kwale, the two cases are from Msambweni and Lungalunga point of entry.  Kajiado, has two cases from Kajiado North and Kajiado Central while Uasin Gishu, has one case from Turbo.

In Kilifi, the one case is from Kilifi quarantine facility; while the one case in Laikipia, is from Laikipia East and lastly,Taita Taveta case is from Taveta quarantine facility.

The CAS also announced that the government has discharged 14 people, bringing the total number of recoveries to 474 but however lost one patient from Kayole bringing a total of fatalities now to 64.

He also noted that as the world celebrates No Tobacco Day today, smokers are more vulnerable to severe forms of Covid-19 disease. “Every year, more than 8 million people die from tobacco use. Preventing young people from becoming addicted to tobacco and related products is, therefore, key to a smoke-free future,” he said.

He added that the ban on tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship by the tobacco control Act of 2007 is still in place and reminded the enforcement agencies to continue enforcing the ban.

This year’s World No Tobacco Day theme is on protection of younger generations, focusing on “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe has confirmed 51 new positive cases of Covid – 19 in the last 24 hours, from a sample of 1,933 bringing the total number to 963.
“We have also discharged 22 patients bringing the number of total recoveries to 358, while the death toll still remains at 50,” the CS said when he gave the country’s status report during the daily media briefing at Afya House.
Out of the confirmed cases 19 are female while 32 are male, both aged between 2 years and 63 years.
“We are committed to fighting this pandemic before it overruns our system, the CS noted after outlining strategies the ministry is undertaking to control the pandemic.
Among the strategies the Ministry is implementing is the enhancement of screening along border points and  activation of laboratories especially at border  points such as  Busia, Wajir, Namanga and also in Naivasha.
Besides activating the Multi-agency teams and the Nyumba Kumi Initiative, the government has also restricted movement across Kenya- Tanzania & Kenya – Somalia border
including travel restrictions in Nairobi, Mombasa, Mandera among others. “The goal of travel restrictions was to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the CS noted.
We have also identified hotspots for targeted testing such as Kamukunji, Dagoreti North, Embakasi East in Nairobi county and  Mvita In Mombasa, the CS disclosed.
“Testing  capacity has been scaled up from the initial 2 labs in Nairobi to 20 labs in 10 counties and to date we have tested  46, 784 samples,” he noted.
According to the CS, 76% of the COVID-19 fatalities occurred in men compared to 24% in women and the most affected age-group is 60 and above. He also noted that most  deaths occurred in Mombasa county followed by Nairobi County.
He also elaborated that COVID-19 is not an MOH issue but a coordination of the whole government approach..
Our focus is on now targeted testing, increasing lab capacity, travel restrictions, Psychosocial support and establishment of functional quarantine & isolation facilities, he added.
The CS for EAC & Regional Development Adan Mohamed added that “Numbers don’t lie and urged his muslim brothers to maintain social distancing as they approach the muslim festival season.
He also noted that each truck driver must be subjected to coronavirus test and emphasized that Cargo trade will continue as his ministry continues to engage with Tanzania on the same.
Health Cabinet Secretary, Sen. Mutahi Kagwe today attended the historic virtual 73rd World Health Assembly, the 1st of its kind since the establishment of the WHO and reaffirmed the country’s support for the WHO, as it’s leadership under Dr. Tedros, spearheads the efforts to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the Assembly the CS  noted that Kenya has put in place robust economic, social and public health measures aimed at interrupting the transmission of the virus within and beyond its geographical borders.
He emphasized that Kenya is making significant & steady progress towards flattening the curve. “We have learnt many lessons along the way & continue to apply mitigation measures day by day,” he noted.
He said that in regard to the current situation as well as the post Covid-19, the ministry aim to build greater resilience in the health systems through increased investments in primary healthcare & health commodity security as critical pillars towards attainment of  Universal Health Coverage.
“We thank all those who have continued to support and collaborate with Kenya,” he said..
He revealed that Kenya  has  joined calls for concerted efforts aimed at ensuring universal, timely & equitable access to COVID-19 tools, as global public goods for health.
He also noted that Kenya appreciates the critical role played by nurses & midwives as frontline health workforce during this pandemic.
“Fortunately, so far Kenya has not lost any health worker to the disease,” he said and stressed that “let us all work together to end this pandemic and emerge stronger together, leaving no one behind.”

The government has commenced talks with health workers union to avert a looming strike called by the workers on Monday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said today.

Speaking when she gave an update on the Covid 19 situation, Dr. Mwangangi noted that the Ministry of Health is alive and is in discussion with various healthcare worker groups to prevent the strike.

“Health care workers are the heartbeat of this response and so we are in negotiations and discussions with them to evaluate their concerns to be able to come to a middle ground where we can actually move forward,”she noted.

Health workers through their union have threatened to down their tools beginning Monday next week if government does not intervene on their welfare and protection from Covid 19.

The acting Director General, HEalth Services, Dr. Patrick Amoth added that the Ministry of Health  tis working on a comprehensive package for health care givers without discriminating any cadre noting that the dialogue with union will continue to reach an amicable solution.

During the pevent the World Vision Vice President, East Africa Dr. Stephen Omollo snd the County Director Lillian DOdzo donated 11,416 PPEs worth Ksh 50 million to the Covid emergency response committee. The kits comprised surgical masks, shoe covers, scrub bottoms, aprons and coverall

The Government of Kenya will put up a mobile testing laboratory at Namanga border point within the next one week to run Covid 19 tests for track drivers and the locals as well.

The facility according to the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman is key in surveillance and monitoring of the virus within the region, an area he said has now been classified as high risk based on Covid-19 positive cases detected in the last few days.

The mobile laboratory under East African Community programme aims at improving disease surveillance between member states. “Through  this programme, we will receive two mobile laboratories for Kenya to be used for  molecular work and testing for Covid -19 and hopefully within the next one week, one lab will be in Namanga to address the testing of track drivers in that area,” he said.

The government he added has earmarked resources for the testing programme which encompasses several testing centres spread across the country and noted that testing levels have continued to increase despite the constraints of reagents. “This will not happen again as we have received a consignment of  8,000 tests kits and by the end of tomorrow we will receive an additional 18,000 more and others are in the pipeline. We are also expecting another consignment in the month of July sufficient for us to do targeted testing even as we focus on border point of Namanga,” he disclosed.

He reported that so far the government has tested 35,432 samples in the country of covid 19. In the last 24 hours we have tested 1516 samples and  22 people tested positive for coronavirus. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 737. Twenty-one of the cases tested are Kenyans while one is a Ugandan. The youngest is 20 years old and the oldest is 80 years.

He also announced that the government, collected samples from track drivers from Tanzania and out of the tested samples 25 people have tested positive for Covid,  23 from Tanzania, one from Rwanda and one from Uganda. “We are carrying out these tests of the track drivers on the Tanzanian side and they remain on that side,” he clarified.

Out of the 22 cases Nairobi County has 10 cases, Mombasa 8 cases, Kajiado has 3 and Bomet has one case. Bomet now joins 20 other Counties that have recorded positive Covid cases.

He also reported  that the government has discharged 22 people from hospital bringing the total number of recoveries to 281. However,  the country has also lost 4 patients, 3 from Nairobi and 1 from Mombasa bringing the total number of those who have lost their lives due to Covid pandemic to 40.

Meanwhile. Dr. Rashid cautioned a few youths who he said are undermining the National Hygiene Initiative programme meant to economically empower them by forcefully demanding money from individuals within their neighbourhoods.“While the intention is noble, it is being implemented in the wrong way. I want to remind our young people that they are the ones who should lead in this fight, but only in the right way. Should they continue to behave in this manner, we run the risk of lowering the level of compliance, which has the potential to negate all the gains so far made,”  Rashid said.

He also urged the businesses that are  operating within the areas where movement has been restricted to desist from hiking prices of commodities. “This businesses are taking advantage of the situation by hiking prices of commodities and other essential goods that they are selling. This is totally immoral as they try to profit out of this pandemic. I want to appeal to these vendors to be more considerate as these are not normal times but its a time to watch over each other,” he said.

The Ag. Director General for Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth argued that testing at the border points is imperative for the government in accordance with the WHO guidelines. “As Kenya continues to test and report, likewise we expect the neighboring countries to also do so as Members of WHO.,” he noted.

He noted that the Mobile Laboratory at Namanga border points, will address the snarl up at the border and ensure seamless movement of cargo from our neighboring country but also acknowledged that there is still a big challenge on the border points because of the disease burden from the neighbours countries through  panya routes.

“ We are asking the  community living along the border points to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement  from neighboring countries so that we can be able to map out specific interventions to ensure security of Kenyan people,”,Dr. Amoth said.

The Government  is working out a plan to have all food handlers tested for Covid-19 despite the challenge of some essential  components of test kits.

“We are asking for patience and cooperation of the management of these facilities  and encourage them to arrange for private testing of their staff in  consultation with the Ministry of Health,” said Dr. Rashid Aman, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Health during the COVID-19 media briefing today.

THe CAS disclosed that a detailed protocol on the guidelines on eateries and restaurants will be posted on the Ministry of Health website and urged the restaurants Management to  read and understand them as the reopening of their premises is predicated on full compliance.

Dr. Rashid further announced that a total of 10 patients have been discharged from hospital bringing  to 124 the total number of recoveries so far.

“In the latest Covid-19 situation report  we have 11 new cases out of the 589 samples tested in the last 24 hours. Our total number of COVID-19 disease positive cases now stand at 374,” he said and added that today’s cases,  had two children aged 3 years, and the oldest is aged 75.

Out of the 11 cases, 7 are from Nairobi, 4 from Kawangware and one each from Eastleigh, Manji Estate and Kaloleni. Mombasa. All the four Mombasa cases are from Kibokoni (Old Town).

”We  have enhanced contact tracing, surveillance and infection control management in Nairobi and Mombasa counties because of increased local transmission in these two counties,’ he said.

Cumulatively,  Dr. Rashid said the age group of 30 to 59 continue to carry the burden of this disease in the  population and account for 224 cases (60 percent) of the 374 total cases.

.”When you add to the 99 cases of the age group 15 to 29; that comes to 323 cases from our most active segment. We encourage these groups to rededicate their energies in observing the containment effort:,” he said.

Yesterday, the Government  issued  initial guidelines for partial reopening of eateries and restaurants in line with the directives issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta

The government allows restaurants to open as it contains coronavirus 

The National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) on Coronavirus has approved guidelines for partial reopening of eateries and restaurants.

The announcement made by the Committee Chair and Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe said that all restaurants shall only operate between 05.00 a.m. and 04.00 p.m. and must limit the number of diners or customers to four people for every 10 square metres space and the tables in the dining area must be spaced 1.5 metres apart.

“Maintaining distance from the back of one chair to the other chair should not be less than a metre and guests must face each other from a distance of at least one metre,” the CS said.

Kagwe also announced that alcohol shall only be sold with a meal in the restaurant and should only be served to customers waiting to be served a meal, during the meal, or 30 minutes after the meal has ended.

“This is not a licence to start opening bars and alcohol sale across the country. Anybody walking into a restaurant should walk in with a mask, sanitize their hands and if your staff have not been tested you cannot open a restaurant,” he stated.

The guidelines now allows  restaurants to temporarily discontinue self-service of ready-to-eat foods such as salad bars or buffets and customers can now have their meals delivered individually to the dining table by appointed restaurant stewards.

“If buffet meals are served the service shall be by only one person appointed by the restaurant.,” the CS said adding that the restaurants must ensure quality and safety of food,  rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces, disinfect surfaces, floors and counters.

All restaurants have also been asked to install adequate portable running water and accessible washing basins for hand washing purposes and install alcohol based-hand sanitizers at the entrance and exit points.

“Restaurants and eateries will also have to install a contact free thermometer and ensure that every person entering the premises has his/her body temperature taken,” he said adding that any staff member or reveler with temperature above 37.5 degrees shall not be allowed entry into the premises, and the premises shall immediately notify the   Ministry of Health through the toll free no 719 for guidance.

He also noted that food preparation area must also ensure physical distancing of 1 metre – 3 feet

The CS announced that the country continues to register tremendous progress in terms of recoveries. In the last 24 hours, an additional eight COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital, bringing to total number of recoveries to 114, he said.

“In this same period, however, we have confirmed 8 new cases of coronavirus in the country bringing to total 363. Four of these are from Mombasa and three from Nairobi, and one from Kwale,” he said.

All the eight , the CS  confirmed are  Kenyans, five  were picked by the Ministry surveillance team, while three are from the mandatory quarantine facilities all aged between 13 and 65 years.

Kagwe added that the two Nairobi cases are from Kibra and the quarantine facility at Kenyatta University. The Kwale case is from Tangä at Lunga Lunga border while the four are from Mombasa in Mvita.

The government has tested 668 samples in the last 24 hours, out of which, 17 people have tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number to 320.

The 668 samples were drawn from  various counties namely Nairobi which had 478, Mombasa 101, Siaya 31, Uasin Gishu 13, Homabay 11 Kajiado had 6, Laikipia and Migori 5 each, Kiambu and Kwale three, Kisumu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo 2 and Meru, Embu, Garissa, Tanariver, Uasin Gishua and Lamu one each.

The results were released today by the Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi who alluded that suspension of international travels, tracing of contacts has moved the focus to the communities.

Seventeen of today’s positive cases are Kenyans, 12 from Mombasa and five from Nairobi. Fifteen have been picked by the surveillance teams and two are from mandatory quarantine centers. out of which,  nine were males and 8 were females both aged between 22-60 years.

Dr.  Mwangangi also announced that six patients have recovered and have been discharged bringing a total number of recoveries to 89 and disclosed that the Ministry has noticed a trend where there are newer admissions every single day. Two patients are in ICU, while the rest have mild cases.

She also clarified that coronavirus is a new disease whose incubation period from the time of exposure is averagely 5 to 6 days but can be up to 14 days depending on an individual. During this period, also known as the “pre- symptomatic” period, some infected persons can transmit the virus thus transmission from a pre-symptomatic case can occur before onset of symptoms.

Studies have shown that in a small number of cases, some people have tested positive for COVID-19 from 1-3 days, before developing symptoms and what this means that, it is possible that people infected with COVID-19 can transmit the virus before significant symptoms develop, she noted.

She also explained that a majority of those infected eventually exhibit symptoms, there is a cohort, and the percentage averages about 60 percent in our case, that test positive for COVID-19, but are completely asymptomatic.

“Asymptomatic transmissions pose a challenge to the containment of COVID-19 and it is therefore imperative that all our frontline people, truck drivers, matatu drivers, journalists, bankers, security and health personnel wash their hands with running water and soap, and to wear facemasks at all times,” the CAS warned

She also cautioned the people on over reliance of sanitizers arguing that while they may be effective, soap and running water is the best for fighting this disease.

“People must therefore, start prioritizing washing of hands and only sanitize in exceptional circumstances,” she advised and noted that “we want our industries to focus on producing quality sanitizer products, so that we do not end up creating newer problems, while solving the COVID-19 problem.”

She also advised the public that contracting Coronavirus is not a crime because all have a potential risk of contracting the disease. She urged the public to stop stigmatizing those sent to quarantine facilities including those have recovered from the disease.

“Being quarantined is neither a detention, nor a punishment. Quarantine is meant to serve the greater public good, which is public health. The fact that we have many who have recovered from the disease, is an indication that we are capable of effectively managing and defeating this disease,” Dr. Mwangangi said and urged the public to continue adhering to the measures put by the government

The government she said is reviewing measures that have been put in place and their impact to come up with a matrix and evaluate them when the committee meets on Sunday to see where there is need to tighten or improve them.

The Acting Director General, Patrick Amoth noted that the government is not criminalizing the quarantine process and that with the tests kits now the process of testing is being fast-tracked to ensure those who test negative are released to go home and continue to quarantine.

“We have tried to improve our quarantine areas in terms of hygiene but those who have escaped from the quarantine facilities, the arm of the law will catch up with them,” Dr. Amoth warned.

The Government has restricted movement into and out of Mandera County after eight people tested positive of coronavirus, becoming the fifth County after Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale.

Giving an update today on the status of Coronavirus and the preparedness of the Country, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said this is a dangerous situation considering that Mandera is a corner county with neighbours on two sides and is affected by travel from other parts of the country.
According to the CS, in the last 24 hours, 707 samples have been tested out of which seven people tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 303. All the seven are Kenyans, six from Mombasa and one from Nairobi.

The CS disclosed that six of the cases are from the targeted mass testing and one was picked by the Ministry surveillance teams. Five of the positive cases are males and two are females all aged between 21-61 years and none of them has a recent history of travel,” he said.

The CS also noted that nine patients have recovered and have been discharged bringing the total number of recoveries to 83. So far the Government has tested a total of 15,124 samples. Mass testing exercise for Covid 19 is on-going in targeted high risk areas, which include healthcare workers, teh CS confirmed and added that currently, the government has 25,000 testing kits which have been deployed for the activity.

“Globally every country is working on testing targets. All have fallen short of these targets because of the disrupted global supply chain. Our plan is to conduct 250,000 tests by June. However, this 250,000 will not match our population,” he said,

The CS however said that the government is collaborating with the development partners to ramp up surveillance testing mechanism which entails community based surveillance, hospital based surveillance and population based surveillance.

For the community based surveillance, CS said they are targeting 100,000 households and for hospital based surveillance 20 hospitals in 16 regions have been mapped out.

“All this is being done under an overarching five-year public health security framework that we have worked out and our Corona response is therefore nested on this policy,” he noted.

The challenge we have over and above Corona, Kagwe noted is to keep an eye on the other healthcare challenges. He called on all Counties to ensure continuity of health services, without losing sight of Corona, adding that in the coming days they should be prepared to share County health service delivery scorecards.

The CS also emphasized  that the government is particularly concerned about mental health and has  established a psychiatric and psychological care help framework over this period.

“We have to be alive to the effect that COVID-19 management measures has had on our people. If you feel distressed and need counselling or psychological care, please call 1199 and you will be attended to,” he advised.

He also highlighted that Covid-19 cases in Somalia have multiplied nine fold in a single week from 26 cases on April 13 to 237, by yesterday. In our neighboring Tanzania, the numbers have swollen sevenfold from 32 cases to 254 within the same period. These developments should concern us,” CS Kagwe said.

“Given these realities, the general sentiment of comfort that is being witnessed in the Country is misplaced especially when we as a nation are complacent with a few officials exploiting this pandemic for personal gain. The idea that we can break curfews and not suffer any ramifications, then we know that we are heading in the wrong direction, he noted.

Kenya has joined the world to adopt the mantra of test-isolate-treat and trace in the fight against coronavirus.

The announcement was made by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi  Kagwe who explained that defeating coronavirus will require agile execution of testing and prompt management of confirmed cases.

The CS who was accompanied by the CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi and Principal Secretary Susan Mochache among other senior officers made the at remarks Kenyatta National Hospital ( KNH) today when he launched a special designated isolation and treatment facility for healthcare workers,.

The facility which, is a product of collaboration between the MoH, the Rockefeller Foundation and AMREF will offer both critical care and basic care services to healthcare workers at the Government cost.. He disclosed that the success  of treatment will highly dependent on the ability to protect the frontline healthcare workers and heroes in this fight.

The government he added will  distributed 4,759 complete Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits and 237,047 assorted components (Goggles, surgical masks, N95 masks, gloves, gowns, rubber boots, shoe covers etc) to health workers.

The CS also announced that the Pharmacy and Poisons Board is are now accelerating regulatory decisions regarding approval of COVID-19 test kits. “The Board is implementing stringent, expedited accreditation mechanism, which has shrunk the process from three months to 48 hours,”he said .

Using this approach,  the CS added that the Board has authorized the employment of four test kits for detecting the virus,  namely COBAS SAR-COVID-2 TEST KIT by Roche Diagnostics, Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2- by Cepheid, Biofire Covid-19 Test by Biofire Defence LLC and Abbott by Abbot Molecular Inc which are currently being used.

With this approach the CS said the country’s capacity for testing will be expanded from the current 10 to cover at least one laboratory in each county and this is expected to take place in the next two weeks.

“The current phase of Covid 19 involves deployment of targeted testing with a focus on frontline healthcare workers, identified hotspot clusters in Nairobi and  Mombasa as well as enhancing community-based surveillance and screening of truck transit drivers,” he noted.

With regard to isolation and quarantine,  the CS said that the country has 33 active quarantines, and a good number of sites have been closed. Currently, there are 483 individuals in the various centres across the country. “We have also quarantined 455 other persons for defying the national curfew regulations and this will be at their own cost ,” the CS said.

The CS also revealed that the government, has trained 30,000 healthcare workers. The training that is still ongoing  is targeting to re-sensitize 100,000 more in the next few weeks. So far, 1000 Police Officers, have also been trained, particularly those manning roadblocks, 1000 National Youth Service (NYS) officers, 300 Prison Officers, and 53,000 Community Health Volunteers, using an online based module by Red Cross, AMREF and MoH.

“I appeal to  National and County health facilities to settle any debts owed to oxygen suppliers and I am urging those who are holding  oxygen cylinders to  make plans to return them to suppliers, so that they can have them filled up.  I am aware we also have a number of Oxygen plants of our own. Facilities with such plants should make haste and repair what is not functional, but also do a quick cost-benefit analysis to ensure we get value for money,” he said

Meanwhile, the CS announced that 11 more persons have tested positive for Coronavirus disease, bringing to 281 the total number of confirmed cases in the country, 5 females and 6 males. Seven are Kenyans from Bondeni Old Town in Mombasa County and four are foreign nationals from Ruaka, Nairobi. None have a recent history of travel.

Seven of those tested positive were in quarantine centers and 4 were picked up by surveillance teams from various parts of the country all aged between 11 and 80 years. The CS also confirmed that 2 more  patients have recovered and discharged bringing the total of recoveries to  69  while the number of deaths remain at 14.

So far a total of 2,778 contacts have been monitored, out of which 2,102 have been discharged. 676 contacts are being followed at the moment. A total of 13,872 samples have been tested so far.

The CS also appealed to the people in the counties of Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Murang’a to guard against the spread of coronavirus from Nairobi county. “Already, a number of your residents have contracted the virus, and we have isolated them for treatment. In Machakos for instance, we have 7 cases; Syokimau (2) and one (1) each in Athi River, Kamulu, Rubi Garden Estate, Kithunguni and Viraji,” he said.

In Kiambu, we have a case in; Githurai, Githurai 45, Ndongoru, Thindigua, Tinganga, Waithaka and Wataalam. Kajiado too, we have cases in Kitengela, Matasia and Ongata Rongai estates while in Murang’a, we have  two cases in Gatanga and Lumumba Drive. All these cases are being treated in various hospitals hoping that they will be the last of the cases in the said  Counties.

The government will activate community policing to enhance community participation in the fight against coronavirus disease.

During today’s media update on coronavirus, the Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said the community policing will use Nyumba Kumi initiative, community health workers, public health officers, multi-agency teams at road blocks besides utilizing technology in tracking and surveillance of post curfew congregations.

“The government will continue to enhance its capacity for combating Coronavirus and is making good leaps in expanding and spreading testing capabilities across the country. Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital in Eldoret and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), here in Nairobi are now testing for COVID-19 disease with the MTRC tests covering a scope of 22 Counties,” she noted.

This is a big step for the government since the samples had to be transported to far away testing centers. She reported that the two facilities have been conducting tests in the last few days and are now complementing the efforts of the existing centres.

The CAS also issued a warning to those who are  breaking the curfew rules, arguing that they will be treated as suspected cases, and put in quarantined for a period of 14 days.

She also announced that the Government, will carry out screening of truck drivers entering and operating in Kenya at roadblocks by a combined team of health and security personnel and revealed  that unscrupulous persons recycling face masks, after collecting them from bins and selling them to unsuspecting Kenyans will be dealt with. “This is not only unacceptable but it is criminal and we will crack the whip on anyone found endangering the lives of fellow Kenyans for selfish gains ,’ she noted and and advised Kenyans to undertake a basic due diligence on the face masks they are buying so that they do not fall victims.

She directed the National Police Service, Kenya Bureau of Standards, National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) and other relevant Government agencies to take action on such characters.

The wines and spirits that have now been converted into drinking joints were also put on notice. “This  facilities are licensed as take-aways only. Anyone found drinking at a Wines and Spirits shop will be arrested and the business closed down,” she warned.

She also disclosed that the Ministry of Health is partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries & Cooperatives to finalize specific guidelines to embed nutrition security in the COVID-19 national response. These includes the food preservation guidelines, kitchen gardens toolkits, recipes for healthy snacks and guidelines to maintain healthy diets among others.

In the meantime  the CAS disclosed that the government has tested 1,330 samples out of which, 8 people tested positive for Coronavirus disease bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 270

The seven are Kenyans and one is a foreign national. None had a history of travel and three of them emanated from quarantine centers. Five  were picked by the Ministry surveillance teams from various parts of the country, 4 are from Mombasa, three from Nairobi and one from Kajiado County aged between 17 and 65 years of age.

“I am glad to announce that we have seven other discharges today taking the number of recoveries to 67. This is indeed very encouraging, and we hope many more will recover.  Sadly, we have lost two more patients thus raising the total number of deaths to 14,” Dr. Mwangangi said .

Besides Nairobi the CAS disclosed that the situation in Mombasa is not any better  and that currently Nyali is leading with 11 cases followed by Mvita which has 7 cases, Kisauni 7 cases and Changmwe 2. Others are Bamburi which has reported  2, Beach Road 1, Mamba Village (1), Mogadishu (1), Mkomani-Tamarind (1), Maweni-Kongowea (1), Twiga Road (1) and  Umoja (1).

So far a  total of 2,661 contacts have been monitored, out of which 2,047 have been discharged. 614 contacts are being followed at the moment. A total of 13,239 samples have been tested so far.

The CAS reminded those in villages to continue keeping social distance, washing hands often with soap and running water, wearing  face masks,  observing basic hygiene and stay at home.

The Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industry Dr. Betty Maina reported that the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has outlined specifications standards for  for materials of production of mask. “ To date we have certified 9 government intuitions  for manufacture of  PPEs and 34 private who together can be able to produce 1.5 million face masks made of cloth each day,”she said.

The CS further said that work is in progress in  designing and approval of  ventilators to 5 institutions namely Toyota Kenya, Kenyatta University,  Dedan Kimathi University, Numerical Machine Complex and Kenya Association of Manufacturer Automotive sector.

There is local capacity of PPEs and face mask and we have 5 certified companies that have already  received orders from the Ministry of Health to be able to deliver, she said.

However, she noted that the challenge of the Mass Testing  is still looming and called upon the local industries who can be able to manufacture the commodities that can support the mass testing,“The ones that are there have been imported, we have samples in the office and at the MOH and are calling upon local industry to look at the samples available for them to be able to undertake the production locally,” CS said.

Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha said no exams have been postponed and that the ministry and government is working in a methodical way to ensure  all is well. “Nobody is postponing the exams and to the best of government ability, children are getting online learning, parents are apprehensive but should also be fair to themselves. We refuse to be guided by fear mongers, we are optimistic,” he said noting that in the course of the next week they will give the scenarios that they have come up on matters education.

According to the government analysis 56 percent of all confirmed cases were imported, and only 44 percent have been locally transmitted. So far, it has succeeded to contain the imports and in the last few days, very few cases are emanating from our original quarantine centers and it is now the local transmissions that are worrying.

The Principal Secretary for Health Susan Mochache launched mass testing of frontline health workers for #Covid19 at Kenyatta National Hospital as part of the governments efforts to scale up mass testing in order to arrest the spread of the disease in the country.
“Mass testing of healthcare workers is part of measures put in place to ensure wellbeing on our frontline workers,” the PS said.
#KomeshaCorona update.

The government will roll out a mass testing exercise for coronavirus disease beginning with quarantine and high density areas.

The Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said the testing will  prioritize  quarantine centers, hotels,  isolation facilities , hospitals and high population density areas like Kibra.

She disclosed that the first phase of the mass testing will see approximately 12,000 testing kits deployed to targeted areas in the next few days and 1000 testing kits to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), based on the risk of transmission identified by monitoring teams including Mandera and Siaya Counties.

She announced that Nairobi county has the highest number of people who have tested positive of coronavirus  now at 101, followed by Mombasa  34, Kilifi 10, Kiambu 7 and Mandera and Machakos which have 6 each. Other counties affected are Nakuru 5 cases, Kitui, Laikipia, Kajiado, Muranga, Kakamega, Nyandarua, Siaya  and Uasin Gishu  2 cases each while  Kisii, Homabay, Nyamira, Nyeri, Vihiga and Kwale have one case each.

She noted that the country is now witnessing a phenomenon where the virus is increasingly moving to the counties.  “We must work even more closely with our County Governments to tighten our control measures, harmonize our responses and mobilize our people to take an active role in this fight,” the CAS said.

Dr. Mwangangi also confirmed that 694 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours, eight have tested positive for Coronavirus disease, bringing to 216 the total number of confirmed cases in the country. Five of the cases were Kenyans, 1 Briton, 1 Pakistan and 1 Ugandan. Six if the cases had a  history of travel from  UAE, UK, Pakistan, Zambia and Comoros, 6 of them from county of Nairobi, Siaya 1 and Nakuru 1.

She also confirmed that six of the cases emanated from  the  mandatory quarantine centers, while two 2 were picked by surveillance teams. Dr. Mwangangi also reported that over the same period one person was discharged from hospital bringing the figure of recoveries to 41. So far a total of 2,331 contacts have been monitored, out of which 1,729 have been discharged and 602 contacts are being followed at the moment.

Meanwhile,  Dr. Mwangangi revealed that  the country is witnessing a spike in domestic violence, gender based violence and sexual offences across the country three times more than the normal .

“We are in constant communication with the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) and the National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ) has recorded an increase in cases of sexual violence perpetrated by close relatives and guardians,”she said and urged Kenyans to focus on fighting the virus and let the disputes to be handled within the civil structures.

“We want to remind everyone that the law has not been suspended, and that it will catch up with those who mete violence on others during this period,” she said.

She also argued that maintaining social distancing does not mean people cease communicating with each other. “During this period its important to engage each other through  the available social platforms, counsel each other, learn and have fun,” she advised.

The also cautioned those abusing the measures put in place and throwing house parties saying that the law will catch up with them.

This weekend marks 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 disease was reported in Kenya.

The global coronavirus statistics indicate that 102,760 people have succumbed to the disease and the number continues to rise. The number of those that have so far tested positive for the disease,  currently stands at 1,700,435, and is quickly hurtling towards the two (2) million mark. out of these, 480,000 people have recovered.

In the next 21 day the Government of Kenya will be working with Africa CDC, WHO and other consulting partners to scale up testing, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi the Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary announced today.

“As we try and scale up mass testing, we are bound to get more cases of coronavirus within our population. So the next  two to three weeks will be very important for us as we first start our targeted testing of quarantine centers, then health care workers before rolling out to mass testing in  different institutions,” she said during the COVID-19 media briefing at Afya House.

Dr. Mwangangi announced that the government is looking at the different laboratories in the country that are already engaged in testing exercise and hopes to engage those that have been testing TB in the country.

“ We have 193 machines that are available and thus mass testing will indeed pick out the positive cases and we will be able to combat coronavirus disease,” she argued.

She revealed that in the last 24 hours the Government has managed to test 491 samples, out of which, two people one Kenyan and one foreigner have tested positive for Coronavirus disease. The two who had no history of travel hailed from Mombasa and Nairobi counties.

This now brings to 191 the number of confirmed cases in the country. The two cases, a two year old and a 32 year old, she explained were picked by surveillance teams.

So far, Dr. Mwangangi revealed that a total of 2,054 contacts have been monitored, out of which 1,546 have been discharged and a total of 508 contacts are being followed at the moment.

Out of the 191 cases now reported in the country, 109 are males and 82 females; 124 of the cases are aged between 30 years and 59 years, 50 cases are aged between 15 years and 29 years, seven are aged between 60 years and above and two are aged 2 years.

She also confirmed that today two more people have been discharged from hospital, bringing the number of those who have recovered and discharged to 24 persons.

The CAS thanked the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), for coordinating the production and distribution of sanitizers in the country.  So far 300,000 litres of sanitizers have been produced and sent to various government agencies for distribution to counties.

“KPC and its partners is revising the initial target of producing one million litres of sanitizer to 2.5 million litres. This will indeed boost the requirement to have as many Kenyans as possible to sanitize their hands,” she said.

The acting Director General of Health services, Dr. Patrick Amoth, added that the government has received testing kits from Roche diagnostics enough to be able to test 7,000 persons.

“We will be able to deploy this in KEMRI where we have three machines, KNH one, National Influenza center, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, KEMRI Alupe and Coast provincial hospital,” he noted.

Dr. Amoth also disclosed that the government is in discussion with the Chinese Embassy in both countries to ensure that Kenyans in China are protected and their rights are not violated because of Covid.-19.

The government has enhanced testing and diagnostic capabilities to undertake an average of 600 tests a day on COVID-19 cases, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said today.

This number will be scaled up in the coming days, the CS said and confirmed that the Government has commenced the testing of all medical personnel to be rolled out throughout the country.

“We are continuing to enhance our capacity and capability within our health facilities to combat this disease and to date over 100,000 healthcare workers have been trained on COVID-19 and over 4000 doctors across the country have benefitted from an e-based training on the same,” the CS said.

The CS also announced that in order to enhance readiness of the Counties, the Ministry of Health is working with the Kenya power and lighting company to fast track connection of 3-phase power to various county facilities.

This he noted will help counties to fully utilize medical equipment, to effectively manage COVID-19 patients and enable optimum utilization of existing equipment’s under the Managed Equipment Service (MES) programme.

He highlighted that Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPEs) that were to be distrusted in the country had slowed down due to clearance from KEBS, but reported that over 10,000 PPEs are now ready for distribution.

The Country, he added has capacity to produce more than 30,000 PPEs per day and thus it will be able to meet the requirement.

He also cautioned that despite mobile money operators facilitating the ease of doing e-transactions, there was a lot of concern as people continue to disregard this advice.

He argued that Kenyans should minimize the handling of physical money in any business transactions since the physical money presents surfaces that can very easily be contaminated with the virus.

“I am encouraging you to transact electronically and minimize the handling of cash. Take all measures to avoid exchanging notes and coins as this is for your own good, and the good of the country,” he said.

He also confirmed that, the Ministry of Health, together with the Ministry of Environment and other Government agencies, have developed and circulated a protocol on COVID-19 waste management to the County Governments for operationalization.

The Ministry of Health  in collaboration with partners continue to engage communities with Covid-19 prevention messages.
Today the  Principal Susan for Health Mochache hosted a meeting to review the Community engagement strategy targeting 12 million  Households countrywide.

Nairobi, Wednesday April 8, 2020 –  The government will be hiring 500 doctors to help combat the coronavirus menace, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi has said

Depending on the availability of the local supply, the government may go an extra mile to source from international system and partners if need be, the CAS said today during the daily coronavirus media briefing at Afya House.

She disclosed that in appreciation of the risks placed on the health workers, the Government has set up a separate isolation and quarantine centres for the health workers and medical staff.

She called upon the private testing facilities to ensure they share their results with the government for purposes of record keeping and monitoring.

“This is a public health matter to ensure that all labs that are conducting testing follow the laid down protocol in terms of reporting any positive or negative cases,” Dr Mwangangi said adding that the Ministry is aware of the headlines being reported in the media on positive cases of coronavirus in parliament  and clarified that the ministry does not have any official communication on the same.

The government she added will be roll out mass testing in different institutions in the country and will clarify the situation in parliament once the communication is received.

She also noted that the government has enhanced the countries capacity to mass produce hand sanitizers and distribution is ongoing. “Our corporates such as Safaricom has offered to use their 175,00 agents to distribute masks and hand sanitizers while the Kenya prisons have agreed to make additional face masks . I encourage other institutions to come forward and give a hand in this epic fight,” she said.

The CAS also made a special appeal to those in possession of oxygen cylinders not in use to consider availing them to the government for the purposes of boosting its capacity in preparedness for any worse situation that may come.

“This disease has shown itself to be blind to our creed, status, colour, age and height and that is the reason why we have been calling for one-for-all-and -all-for-one approach to save ourselves,” she said.

Dr. Mwangangi also directed all salon and barber shop operators to wear face masks while attending to their clients and also avail sanitizers to their clients, ensure social distancing and practice basic hygiene in their operations.

Meanwhile, she announced that a total of 305 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours, out of which seven (7) people have tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number to 179.

The seven people who are all Kenyans have been moved into isolation, Five are from Nairobi, one from Mombasa and one from Uasin Gishu . Two of the cases emanated from  mandatory quarantine facilities while five were picked by the surveillance teams.

Contact tracing of the seven cases , four female and three male is ongoing , and so far a total of 2004 persons have been monitored  out of which 1426 have been discharged and 578 are currently on follow up .

The government has banned movement in and out of Nairobi metropolitan, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties for the next 21 days to  contain Covid 19 pandemic.

For Nairobi metropolitan, restriction takes effect today from 7 p.m  while in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale will be effected on Wednesday the 8th April, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced today.

The announcement was made amid reports of 16 more cases of coronavirus bringing the total number to 158.  So far four recoveries have been reported and six  deaths out of 4,277 cases that have been tested.

Today’s briefing was done in State House the President who disclosed that 82 percent of reported cases of Covid 19  are  from Nairobi metropolitan area and 14 percent of the cases are residents of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa.

To contain and limit the spread of the disease to other parts of the country, the President said that the National Security Council has issued the cessation of all movements by road, rail and air in and out of the four counties.

The Nairobi Metropolis has been designated as the  Nairobi city county, parts of Kiambu county up to Chania river  bridge Thika, including Rironi, ndenderu, Kiambu town  parts of machakos up to Athi river including katani and parts of Kajiado including  Kitengela, Kiserian, Ongata rongai, Ngong Town and all areas as set out in the order.

The president noted that movement within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and the Counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa shall continue subject to the nationwide curfew.

He however, announced that the movement of food supplies and other cargo will continue as normal during the declared containment period through road, railway and air but shall be charged to a single driver and designated assistant whose owner or operator of the said vehicle must have done in writing with reference to the said vehicle.

Meanwhile , in order to scale up  interventions against the current health pandemic,  the president has directed the National Treasury to utilize the KSh. 2 Billion which was recovered from corruption proceeds to support the most vulnerable members of society, especially the needy in our urban areas.

He also directed the Nairobi Metropolitan Service, to expand their provision of free water to all  informal settlements and the Treasury to appropriate all domestic and international travel budgets for all State Agencies within the Executive, the Judiciary, the Legislature and the County Governments and re-allocate them to combating COVID-19.

President Uhuru also encouraged traders and farmers in in fresh produce to continue with their agricultural activities, so as to ensure continued supply of the farm produce to the markets.

The government has started manufacturing protective masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for prevention against Corona Virus disease.

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Trade and Industry Betty Maina disclosed that the Kenyan textile industry has risen up to the task and is currently able to produce as many masks as required including PPEs.

The samples have already been presented to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) for testing and confirmation of compliance with Kenyans standards, the CS said today during the daily briefing on the status of Coronavirus at Afya House.

She disclosed that the material which is in stock among the manufacturers is sufficient to make 60 million masks with immediate effect.

“We have instructed them to get in touch with their distribution chain and make this available to even tailors and other people in the villages so that we can expand our capacity as quickly as possible,” she said.

She noted that four fabric manufacturers have confirmed capacity and will be distributing them in the next couple of days. “I can ascertain that by today we have at least one million masks available and already in the distribution channel. We don’t expect any of the masks to sell for more than Ksh20, the CS noted.

The disposable PPE gear to be worn by doctors, have also been certified by the Ministry of Health and KEBs after meeting the appropriate and necessary parameters and shall also be cheaper in price compared to the imported ones, she added.

The Government is also in an advanced stage to assembly and make ventilators in Kenya. Through the supply chain, manufacturing will not only be helpful for the textile industry but will also help in enhancing the nation’s sense of dignity, the CS said.

Nairobi , Thursday April 2, 2020 –  The Government has confirmed 29 more cases of Coronavirus and two deaths in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of positive cases to 110.

The two patients who had tested positive, died in Nairobi and  Mombasa  respectively bringing the total number of those who have died to three.

Making the announcement today the Cabinet for Health Mutahi Kagwe, instructed all Boda Boda , tuktuk and matatu drivers to wear masks henceforth including their passengers.

He  revealed that the the Government has authorized  local production of face masks and Personal Protective Equipment  (PPEs) for health workers, which will be availed to  them through Counties and  public transport associations .

The 29 confirmed cases were from 662 samples that were tested  in the last 24 hours, twenty eight  Kenyans and one Congolese.

“Going forward it will now be possible for one to acquire the masks from the tailors cheaply but with the right materials,”he explained.

He also advised the members of the public against traveling up country during Easter holidays. “We are discouraging mass movement of people staying in Nairobi from travelling upcountry. The dangers of this are real. It is very easy to transfer the virus to those living up country especially the elderly,” he noted.

CS Kagwe stressed  that the situation on coronavirus in the country is not getting any better, and that the disease is a pandemic thus stiffer measures will be implemented  to deal with the disease.

In order to heighten the level of preparedness, the CS said that the  government has now instructed with immediate effect  the hiring of 5000 skilled health workers across the country  within the next 7 days and  Counties have been instructed to submit their requirements by Wednesday next week while the hospitals who have given their requirements have been instructed to continue hiring.

“It is our wish  that in the next seven days the hospital will have hired an additional 1000 health workers and this means that at least 6000 additional health workers will be in place to fight the pandemic,” he added.

He urged the County Commissioners and Headteachers with boarding facilities, to start planning ahead for any eventuality.

Out of the confirmed 29 cases 13 are males and 16 females aged between 16 to 64 years.  Twenty three  (23) of them were detected in the designated quarantine facilities while six (6) are from suspected cases admitted in isolation units in various Health facilities.

“ Fellow Kenyans I do not want to scare you, but with the figures, the number is likely to rise. It is important to note that this virus does not move by itself. It is moved by you and I. we must change our behavior and attitude if we have to cut the transmission of the virus,” the CS said.

He also confirmed that the Deputy Governor of Kilifi, County Gideon Saburi , who had been  placed under mandatory quarantine has fully recovered and had been declared fit after being subjected to three tests, all of which turned negative.

Dr.  Patrick Amoth , the Acting Director General added that  local transmission is now in the country, clustered in various counties.

“Out of  the over 100 plus cases that have been confirmed about 30 or 40 local transmission with no history of travel , others with no history of contact with COVID 19. We are in the era of local transmission,” he emphasized.

The Ministry of Health has today confirmed  nine more cases of coronavirus  out of 234 sampled cases bringing the total number now to 59.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi confirmed that a total of 234 samples from suspected cases of Covid 19 have been analyzed in the various laboratories and tracing of contacts of the 59 confirmed cases is ongoing.

So far the  total number of close contacts being monitored  stands at 1668. “Out of this number, 508 have been discharged from contact follow up process after completing the 14 day follow up period,” she said and added that  the teams are currently  monitoring 1160 close contacts of confirmed cases.

The CAS noted that the Government has designated Mbagathi hospital as the main center for those who test positive with bed capacity of 120 beds and plays are underway to equip the Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral hospital with a capacity of 300 beds to boost the capacity.

“We are also exploring the usage of boarding schools countrywide and have engaged county governments to identify boarding schools which will assist in boosting the government’s capacity,” she added.

She explained that the Government is closely working with the county governments to effect the President’s directive in equipping level four and five hospital in response to Covid -19 cases.

We shall also continue to work to ensure that our health workers have the right gear as the front line army in disease control. The government is also in the  process of hiring 1000 workers to boost the capacity.

“we are also scaling up acquisition of PPEs for health facilities countrywide and we shall be hiring 1000 health workers to boost capacity in the fight against COVID 19 disease,” she added.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has condemned leaders who are spreading false information on coronavirus.

“It’s disheartening for those in leadership to continue perpetuating false information that has nothing to do with real cases just to gain political mileage,’ the CS said after confirming four more cases of coronavirus in the country bringing the total to 42.

The misinformation has been doing rounds in the social media where a local leader claims that there are over 7000 people in mandatory quarantine.

“This is not true. It is immoral and unethical for anyone to mislead people for whatever reason they may have in regard to the fight against Coronavirus.” he noted.

The CS disclosed that medical teams from the Ministry of Health have embarked on mass testing for persons who arrived in the country last week based on their dates of arrival.

He said that the suspected cases will remain in quarantine for the full duration while those who test positive will be taken to isolation facilities.

Since yesterday the CS disclosed that a total of 69 samples from suspected cases of Coronavirus have been analyzed in the various laboratories and out of these four cases have been confirmed positive for coronavirus.

The confirmed include one Kenyan and three foreigners from America, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Three of the cases are from Nairobi and one from Mombasa. This now brings to 42 the number of those who have tested positive for the virus in Kenya.

Nairobi County continues to lead with 31 cases of those who have so far tested positive, followed by Kilifi with six, Mombasa with three, while Kajiado and Kwale with one each”, the CS said.

Out of the 42 positive cases, 24 are male while 18 are female.  Tracing of contacts for the 42 confirmed cases is ongoing  bringing the  total number of close contacts that are being monitored to 1426.

Out of this number,  the CS said 215 have been discharged after completing the mandatory 14 day follow up period and currently the Health Team is now monitoring 919 close contacts while 18 individuals are  admitted at Mbagathi Hospital awaiting test results. So far the government has tested 877 persons for coronavirus disease

As of 28th May 2020 the global figures stood at 571, 678 of persons who have tested positive for Coronavirus and 26,494 have succumbed since the disease outbreak.

Within the last 24 hours Italy has reported 971 deaths, Spain 769 deaths while USA has recorded a total of 16894 new cases with 252 deaths in a period of 24 hours.

This scenario, the CS said  reflects the possible outcomes that the country is  likely to face if we are complacent with the measures the government has put in place.

The CS appealed to Kenyans to embrace this fight against coronavirus as opposed to assuming that it is a government affair.

He noted that the Government is  expanding capacity particularly in the counties  and applauded the initiatives that private sector has taken in particular the provision of PPE.

“There is no country that has been able to contain the disease on its facilities alone, our health facilities can be overrun anytime by the demand,’ he noted and added that next week the government will also hire 1000 medical personnel.

The Ministry is also working with the Ministry of Trade and industry to provide products such as masks and Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) locally.

“We are purchasing ventilators from many parts and although there is  a shortage across the world , we have people who  are assisting us such as the World Bank who have donated 250 ventilators and every effort is being done to source for many more,” he said.

Trade CS Betty Maina added  that within the country, there are 50 companies that are capable of manufacturing ventilators and  personal protective gears and they are working together to ensure there is great capacity to supply goods.

Isiolo Governor Mohammed  Kuti urged the schools to identify isolation areas incase the government is overwhelmed by the numbers. He also urged the companies and experts who can  produce  masks or  protective gears to liaise with County Emergency Response team.

The CS for Health also appealed to employers to release their employees early from their work stations to beat the curfew time .

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Defence CS Monica Juma  today met with religious leaders for a meeting over  the Coronavirus pandemic. The leaders  were  led by NCCK Chair ABC Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki, and they included Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria, CITAM Bishop David Oginde, Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui, PCEA Rev John Mbae, Fr Joseph Waweru and Bishop Hudson Ndeda.

Health Principal Secretary (PS), Susan Mochache has today met the Resource Mobilization Team of the Covid19Ke Taskforce to advance preparedness in terms of health commodities. They explored strategies to ensure consistent supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) for frontline health workers, laboratory sample collection kits and  test kits.

The Multi-Agency Team is working alongside 11 other teams to ensure there are no gaps in handling Covid19 situation in the country.

The PS has requested the Public’s support in taking the necessary precautionary measures as guided by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation. She has urged members of the public to help spread useful information and not fear.

Following the confirmation of a case of COVID-19 in the country yesterday, the Ministry wishes to update members of the public as follows:

  1. So far we have only ONE (1) confirmed case. The patient continues to receive care and treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Infectious Disease Unit (IDU) in a self-contained room.
  2. The patient is in a stable condition, with normal vital signs and is cheerful and vibrant. We thank her for taking prompt action and seeking prompt health advice. And we wish other Kenyans will follow her example
  • The Ministry has traced twenty two (22) close contacts who have been quarantined at KNH Isolation Unit at Mbagathi. Specimens from these contacts are currently undergoing testing at KEMRI laboratories.
  1. Twenty three (23) other persons of mixed nationalities who travelled on the same flight with the patient have also been traced and advised to undertake self-quarantine for 14 days. The Ministry’s rapid response team will follow them up on a daily basis until the 14 days are over.
  2. The county team in conjunction with MoH has fumigated the apartment block where the patient was a resident
  3. We have set up two counseling centers, one in KNH and another in Mbagathi and deployed counselors who are to take care of the quarantined patients and their families.
  • The Public Health Emergency Operation Centre has been fully activated to coordinate response efforts.
  • A call center has been set up to enhance communication on COVID-19. Members of the public can reach the call center by dialing 719 for audio messages or *719# for short messages. This will apply across all networks.
  1. The Ministry of Health in partnership with County Governments, Kenya Red Cross, AMREF, WHO, World Bank, KEPSA, UoN, Kenya Health Federation and other stakeholders has engaged community health volunteers across the country to support awareness creation on COVID-19.
  2. On Monday, The business community will come in with a compact intervention to address issues that will deal with the COVID-19

The Ministry continues to maintain heightened surveillance at all points of entry, health facilities and communities across the country. We urge members of the public to remain vigilant and are advised to continue taking the following precautionary measures as advised;

  1. Maintain basic hand hygiene, and safe food practices. Basic hand hygiene begins with hand washing.
  2. Avoid close contact with people who are coughing and have flu like symptoms
  • In addition, anyone showing symptoms of chest infection illness such as fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing and sneezing with a history of travel to go to the nearest health facility for assessment and prompt management.
  1. In addition, anyone with recent history of travel to the affected countries are strongly advised to self- quarantine for 14 days and promptly report to the nearest health facility in case they develop any of the above and in the event they develop any illness they can call the above number for further direction.

We have taken note of videos doing the rounds on social media with fake information which are aimed at misinforming and causing unnecessary panic to the public. We wish to inform the public not to consume information that has not come from official government communication channels [@MOH_Kenya and @SpokespersonGoK]. The fake and alarming videos have been forwarded to Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for investigations, arrest and prosecution of such individuals.

 

As I conclude I would like to assure the public that the Government is doing everything possible to manage the situation. I therefore urge everyone NOT to panic and observe the preventive measures outlined by the Ministry.

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