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Beware! coronavirus test kits on sale are fake

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy HILLARY ORINDE | Mon,Mar 16 2020 10:53:21 EAT
By HILLARY ORINDE | Mon,Mar 16 2020 10:53:21 EAT

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council on Monday raided a clinic stocking purported coronavirus test kits.

Avane Cosmetics Dermatology Clinic and Medical Spa in Hurlingham, Nairobi was allegedly cashing in on the coronavirus outbreak.

The clinic, in an advertisement poster, said that it was selling Covid-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) rapid test kits for “early diagnosis, awareness and medical attention if infected.”

Covid 19 Time Series


The fake kits that promised results in 15 minutes are retailing at Sh3,000 with customers advised to send the money through mobile payments to “avoid hospital queues or crowds”.

“We are already at the facility and they will not stock the kits anymore,” Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council CEO Daniel Yumbya told Standard Digital.

The Kenya Association of Clinical Pathologists also confirmed that the kits were fake.

According to the World Health Organization and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tests for SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) is done on respiratory specimens.

The process (medically referred to as real-time RT-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) detection) is done using Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT).

There are select verified medical facilities around the country that conduct such tests. 

In instances cases return positive, samples are taken to the National Influenza Centre and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) headquarters for confirmation. What should you do if you think you have coronavirus?

The Ministry of Health says you should not panic.

You are advised to contact the Division of Disease Surveillance and Response through a toll free line 0800 721 316 or the hotlines +254 729 471 414/+254 732 353 535.

They will advise on a hospital near you to visit for proper testing. Calling in advance prevents further potential spread.

If positive, you will be admitted to a hospital with an isolation unit.

Some of the facilities include Nairobi's Mbagathi Hospital isolation unit that was recently equipped and opened following an Executive order and the 11-bed isolation unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The Health Ministry plans to establish an additional 300-bed capacity facility at the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital.

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