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Coronavirus: Kenya’s patient zero speaks to Uhuru Kenyatta

Health & Science

Ivy Brenda and Brian, who are among the first coronavirus cases in Kenya talking about their experience after recovery at Afya House, Nairobi.

Kenya’s first coronavirus patient, Ivy Brenda Cherotich, has spoken about her experience for the first time since recovery. 

In a video conference call with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, an elated Brenda and Brian told of the  23-day quarantine period at Mbagathi Hospital and how they managed to pull through.

Brenda says that she first arrived in Texas, USA on December 19, 2019, then proceeded to Cleveland, Ohio, finally making a stop in London, United Kingdom.

“I suspect I may have contracted the virus in London,” she said.

Upon return, she said that she coughed for three days. “I decided to give myself one day to see how my body would respond".

However, as things were not improving, she did the rightful thing and presented herself at Mbagathi hospital in Nairobi.

“I had seen from the news while in the US that there was an isolation ward at Mbagathi so I took myself there.”

Brenda is grateful for the manner in which staff at the hospital responded to her, saying they took her case seriously and put under immediate quarantine for 23 days.

“I want everyone to know that this is something that can be managed. It is treatable,” she added.

President Uhuru praised Brenda for her courage in recognising that she had a responsibility not just to herself but to the country too.

“Immediately upon her arrival, Brenda took it upon herself, that she potentially had the risk to harm others around her, to go to the hospital,” President Uhuru said.

By doing so, the government was able to confirm and trace others she had come into contact with. “You are a very brave person Brenda and we celebrate you,” he added.

However, the president castigated other Covid-19 patients who did not take the necessary measures once they showed symptoms of the disease putting the lives of others at risk.

“Let us report our symptoms. Let us stay away. Let’s isolate ourselves and let’s be treated because it is treatable,” the president urged  Kenyans.

President Uhuru said that it was important for Kenyans to follow the set guidelines both by the Health Ministry and World Health Organisation (WHO) to curb the spread of the virus.

“As circumstances dictate, the government may be forced to take even more precautionary measures.”

The president now wants to meet both Brenda and Brian (who contracted the virus communicably) to show Kenyans that we can overcome if we fight it together.

Kenya reported its first coronavirus case on March 13, becoming the eleventh country in sub-Saharan Africa and the first in Eastern Africa and to register a positive case.

According to the Mutahi Kagwe-led ministry, the patient, a Kenyan, had travelled from the US via London, United Kingdom on March 5.

The 27-year-old was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry reported that the patient was stable and was being treated at Kenyatta National Hospital until she would be confirmed negative.

Tracing of people who came into contact with her kicked off almost immediately.


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