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US Embassy in Kenya cancels consular appointments over coronavirus

The United States embassy has cancelled all routine consular appointments following confirmation of coronavirus case in Kenya.

“The Kenyan Ministry of Health has suspended all public gatherings, meetings and events.  All routine consular appointments at the U.S. Embassy from March 16 to March 27 are canceled,” the Embassy said in a statement.

The Embassy told the US citizens in need of emergency assistance to contact them using the contact information provided on its website before making a visit to their offices. 

The Americans were further advised to visit the Kenyan Ministry of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for updated information on the virus. 

US government personnel were also advised to limit non-essential travel to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that has killed over 4,000 people.

Kenya announced its first positive coronavirus case on Friday.

Mutahi Kagwe-led ministry said the 27-year-old patient - a Kenyan citizen arrived in the country on March 5 from the United States.

The woman has been admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital's Infectious Disease Unit in Nairobi.

The CS said it has traced all contacts the patient made since her arrival.

"We have done all the contact tracing and have all the names including the people who sat next to her on the flights she took," he said, adding that the government had taken preventative measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Following the confirmation of the coronavirus case, the government has banned all public gatherings and interschool events as it monitors the situation.

“All religious crusades, gatherings, meetings interschool events and all events that of huge public nature have been suspended,” he said.

Normal services in churches and schools will still go on as long as hygiene is observed.

The CS also directed the public transport providers to immediately start providing hand sanitisers for their passengers and carry out regular cleanings on their vehicles.

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