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Coronavirus watch: Government bans conferences with over 15 people

Health & Science

The national government has banned all conferences of international nature with more than 15 people for 30 days as a precautionary measure against Coronavirus.

The move is part of the government's plan to improve preparedness through heightened surveillance.

The Health ministry has also temporarily lifted the ban on Italian flights to Kenya to evacuate Italian Citizens from Kenya.

Information from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows as at March 5, 95,333 confirmed cases had been reported globally and 3,282 deaths majority from mainland China. 

Kenya has investigated 23 alerts involving 31 suspected cases that have all tested negative for Covid-19.

Two of the cases investigated recently were both in Nairobi.  

Addressing the press on Friday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said so far a National Contingency Plan to guide response activities has been established in all counties.

Further, the CS announced a mandatory screening at all entry points to ensure the country is free from coronavirus.

“We are screening everyone at the borderpoints. No one is going to come to Kenya without being screened in all our borders even if walking on foot,” he said.

Some 1,100 health care workers have been trained and additional health workers deployed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

He added that there have been consultations with private health facilities within Nairobi to support additional isolation facilities in the event that the country reports more cases than the capacity at Kenyatta National Hospital.

The MoH is exploring the possibility of using the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital to offer additional capacity for isolation. 

CS Kagwe said the government has also secured requisite equipment for the workers as a safety measure for the medics that would be handling the victims should the virus find its way into the country.

He said the government is working with Red Cross, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US CDC to monitor the situation.

Kagwe urged citizens to remain vigilant as the risk of infection is still high, calling on county governments to ensure isolation wards in Level Four and Five hospitals are ready for use by March 15.

Additional precautionary measures against coronavirus include: 

Maintaining basic hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices. Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections. Anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing and sneezing with a history of recent travel to China is advised to go to the nearest hospital.

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