Coronavirus scare: KNH quarantines Kenyan from China

Kenyatta National Hospital has quarantined a patient over a suspected Coronavirus case. [File, Standard]

Health officials are investigating a suspected case of deadly Coronavirus at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

This is after an unnamed student who had travelled from Guangzhou, China, was admitted to the hospital and quarantined after exhibiting flu-like symptoms similar to those off coronavirus.

KNH has confirmed admitting the student but did not give much information on the tests being done.

The hospital will be issuing a detailed report after completing a laboratory test on the patient.

Kenya Airways communication department has confirmed the incident adding that all the necessary precautionary measures were taken.

It stated: “Kenya Airways confirms that a passenger who travelled on one of our services from Guangzhou to Nairobi on 28 January 2020 has, as a precautionary measure, been quarantined at the Kenyatta National Hospital.”

“Decision to quarantine the passenger was reached by the Kenya Government port health authorities stationed at JKIA. The Kenyan passenger had been cleared to travel by the China Port health authorities at the Guangzhou Airport,” it added.

According to the statement by the airliner, the passengers who boarded the same plane with the student need not to panic because of the safety procedures in place.

It stated: “Upon being cleared, our staff notifies the Kenya Government Port health authorities who then took precautionary measures including further screening on arrival.”

“Onboard, our crew, guided by the ICAO protocols, take further precautionary measures which include isolating the passenger for the entire trip.”

The virus broke out in Chinese city Wuhan and has pushed the Chinese government to the brink of restricting movements, shutting businesses and ordering people to work from home. By Tuesday morning, 106 people had lost their lives as a result of the infection.

Reuters reported that the number of totals confirmed cases in China rose to 4,515 as of yesterday, up from 2,835 reported a day earlier.

Kenya has maintained that she is alert and in a good position to prevent the entry of the virus in the country.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki made a reassurance on January 23 that the ministry had enhanced surveillance at the borders.

“I want to confirm to Kenyans that we have enhanced our levels of alertness in response to the CoronaVirus that has been reported in the last four days in China,” she said while addressing participants of the ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign for cancer screening at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.

The screening routine at the airports was confirmed in the Kenya Airways statement.

“The procedure at the airport of departure is that all passengers are required to undergo quarantine screening by the health authorities before being cleared to board an aircraft,” it said.

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