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We are ready for Coronavirus, Health Ministry says

By FREDRICK KAGONYE | Thu,Mar 12 2020 00:00:00 EAT


Health CS Mutahi Kagwe(right) chats with Parliamentary Joint Health Committee members led by Co-Chairs Michael Mbito (2nd right), Prof Mohamed Omaar(left) and Muriuki Njagagua (2nd left) after the committee meeting on the Corona Virus at County Hall, Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Ministry of Health is ready to deal with coronavirus infections that may arise, Parliament has been told.

Appearing before both the Senate and the National Assembly health committees yesterday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said a 300-bed ward has been set aside at the Kenyatta University Research and Referral Hospital.

The ward, Mr Kagwe said, will deal with coronavirus emergencies.

Covid 19 Time Series


He also added that an 11-bed isolation unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital and a 120-bed ward at the Mbagathi Hospital have also been prepared.

Kagwe further revealed that the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has two holding rooms where passengers are screened. 

After screening, the CS emphasised that passengers are monitored to make sure they follow all the measures they have been advised to take.

Kagwe said Kenya was the third country in Africa to prove that it is capable of testing for the virus after Senegal and South Africa.

“So far, the ministry has been able to pick up 27 alerts. All tested negative for the disease,” the CS said.

He added that 1,100 health personnel have been trained to deal with infections. Kagwe noted that the government has sent Sh10 million to the 90 students Kenyan students stuck in China. 

He, however, stressed that they cannot be evacuated to the country since they pose a great risk to the local population.

Sylvia Wanjiru, a representative of families whose relatives are in China, had pleaded for the evacuation of the students.

“Some of the students have now completed 60 days locked up in their dormitories. They are stressed,” Ms Wanjiru said.

When asked if he is aware of a Kenya Airways flight that jetted from Rome, where infections have soared, Kagwe said he is not aware of such a flight. He promised to follow up with the matter.

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