The first confirmed a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case has been reported in Nairobi.
According to the ministry of health, 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 statement from the ministry reads in part.
The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, has pledged to continue strengthening 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.” Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said.
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;
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (5 feet) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Persons with a cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but avoid mixing with others in a crowd.
- Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with a handkerchief, tissue, or into flexed elbow.
- Stay at home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.
- Suspend all public gatherings, meetings and events.
- Suspend all inter – school events.
- Public transport providers are directed to provide hand sanitizers for their clients and regular cleaning of the vehicles.
- Temporary suspension of prison visits for the next 30 days.
- 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.
Insurance sector response to Coronavirus epidemic
Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 a pandemic, the insurers have announced that it will not be able to offer medical insurance cover for condition at this moment in time.
“The insurers have this category of exclusion properly indicated in the policy documents,” a statement from Insurance Regulatory Authority read in part adding that by way of information, under the general exclusions in the standard insurance health products approved by the Authority, an epidemic/pandemic is described as follows:
- Epidemic/Pandemic – An epidemic is the rapid spread of infectious disease to a large number of persons in a given population within a short period of time. An epidemic may be restricted to one location; however, if it spreads to other countries or continents and affects a substantial number of people, it may be termed a pandemic. A pandemic is an epidemic occurring on a scale which crosses international boundaries and usually affecting bya large number of people.
- The insurer excludes Claims arising or related or associated with Epidemics/Pandemics or unknown diseases.