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The Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. Many falsely claimed a patient who tested positive for coronavirus was admitted at the facility. [File, Standard]

Health & Science
More than 2,900 people have died from the virus and over 85,000 have been infected worldwide

The reports that a patient with coronavirus is admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) are false, according to the Ministry of Health.

In a terse statement shared on Twitter, the Mutahi Kagwe-led ministry said there was no suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 in the country.

“Last evening, two suspect cases investigated at KNH returned negative laboratory results (sic),” it said in a rejoinder to the daylong claims that the first positive case of the deadly virus in Kenya was admitted at the facility.

Within minutes of sharing the tweet, Kenyatta National Hospital, which has an 11-bed isolation ward, also dismissed the grapevine.

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“The information circulating on social media that there is a confirmed case of COVID 2019 Corona Virus is not true. Members of the public are advised to ignore the false alerts,” it said in a tweet.

The government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna also denied the claims.

He described the messages doing round on social media as “all fake and inciteful”.

“Fact is that there is NO positive case in the country this far,” he said on Twitter, adding, “The public is requested to ignore such messages and is reassured that everything is under control”.

The virus has rapidly spread across the world over the past two months.

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More than 2,900 people have died and over 85,000 have been infected worldwide since it was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

A woman rides a bicycle in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. [Reuters]

Executive order

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday ordered the newly sworn-in cabinet secretary to chair the national emergency response committee on Coronavirus.

The committee takes over the button from the Cabinet Adhoc Committee on Health and the Inter-ministerial Technical Committee on Government Response to the Coronavirus outbreak who were accused of repeated failures to adequately protect the country from the virus.

The disbanded inter-ministerial committee was heavily criticised for allowing a flight from China to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Wednesday, with little to no screening procedures being followed.

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The reprehension came when the State said it had directed the 239 passengers to self-quarantine for 14 days just as a precautionary measure.

A court has since directed the government to trace the passengers, re-examine, confine and quarantine them in a Kenya Defence Force (KDF) facility to save Kenyans from an imminent health risk.

President Uhuru also directed Mbagathi Hospital to be ready in a week to admit all suspected cases of the dreaded virus.

The hospital is the dedicated national isolation and treatment facility and has been under construction since 2018.

It was majorly built to cater to infectious diseases, which required isolation, but it has since grown to offer other healthcare services. 

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Kenyatta National Hospital Coronavirus Coronavirus outbreak Fake News Fact checker Hillary Orinde

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