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Ministry of Health

FIRST CASE OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE CONFIRMED IN KENYA
The Ministry of Health has confirmed a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in
Nairobi. The case, which was confirmed on the 12th March 2020, is the first one to be
reported in Kenya since the beginning of the outbreak in China in December 2019.

The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United
States of America via London, United Kingdom on the 5th March 2020. She was
confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public
Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The patient is clinically stable, and is
being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, continues to strengthen
measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease in Kenya. The National
Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus preparedness and response will
continue to provide strategic leadership working through whole Government
approach to respond to this case in the implementation of mitigation measures.

I wish to assure all Kenyans that we have been beefing up our preparedness capacities
since the first confirmed cases in China. The Government will use all the available
resources to respond to this case.

The Government has traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya.
Kenyans are reminded that most people who become infected may experience only
mild illness and recover easily, but the disease can be more severe in others, especially
the elderly and persons with other chronic illnesses.

All Kenyans should observe the following preventive measures;

i. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-
based hand sanitizer.

ii. Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (5 feet) between yourself and anyone who
is coughing or sneezing.
iii. Persons with a cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance,
but avoid mixing with others in a crowd.
iv. Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose while
coughing and sneezing with a handkerchief, tissue, or into flexed elbow.
v. Stay at home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in
breathing.
vi. Suspend all public gatherings, meetings and events.
vii. Suspend all inter – school events.
viii. Public transport providers are directed to provide hand sanitizers for their
clients and regular cleaning of the vehicles.
ix. Temporary suspension of prison visits for the next 30 days.
x. Kenyans must not abuse social media platforms or indulge in spreading
misinformation that can cause fear and panic.

The Ministry of Health will continue to provide regular updates.

 

Hon. Mutahi Kagwe, EGH
CABINET SECRETARY
13th March 2020