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Four State House staffers test positive for Covid-19

By Hillary Orinde | June 15th 2020

State House in Nairobi. [File]

Four workers at State House, Nairobi, have tested positive for Covid-19, spokesperson Kanze Dena has announced in a press release.

Ms Dena said the four cases were reported following mass-testing at State House on June 11.

The venue hosted a 'virtual' 57th Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic that has seen a ban on social gatherings.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and members of his family tested negative for the virus and are "safe and free from Covid-19."

"The infected officers were admitted at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital in Kiambu County for treatment," Kanze said.

She added that families and close contacts of the affected officers are also being attended to accordingly.

"To strengthen Covid-19 containment measures, extra access protocols for State House staff residing outside the compound and visitors have been rolled out," she said.

The measures include prior tests for those intending to visit the place.

In a rallying call against susceptibility to the virus, Ms Kanze said no one was immune to the virus.

"Let's us all, therefore, endeavour to fully adhere to the Covid-19 containment protocols as set out by the Ministry of Health," she said.

Though Standard Digital has not confirmed if the four cases are related to the last public event at State House, opposition chief Raila Odinga, who attended the fete has also shared his coronavirus status.

Mr Odinga, who tested negative, shared the results moments after receiving them from the Kenya Medical Research Institute earlier today.

He took the test yesterday and urged Kenyans to get tested as they continue to adhere to the government guidelines.

Meanwhile, In the last 24 hours, Kenya tested 3,365 samples, out of which, 133 people have tested positive for the virus.

The cumulative number of tests conducted so far is now 118,701, and the total caseload in the country is 3,727.

In the latest instalment of cases announced by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in Nyandarua, 33 more patients have been discharged from various centres, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,286.

Kagwe added that one person has died in the last one day to take the fatalities to 104.

To open or not open

The new cases at the official residence of the president add to the complexity of easing movement restrictions as infections balloon.

President Uhuru has said experts have warned that if the country rushes to reopen the economy, the virus will run down its health system.

"I wanted to reopen our economy but experts feel that a lot still needs to be done before we fully remove the restrictions," he said when he extended the curfew on June 6.

According to the president, cases will hit over a million at the end of the year with over 70,000 deaths if the country reopens without properCovid-19 management protocols. 

Experts have also warned that if the restrictions are relaxed by 20 per cent, there will be 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths by December.

Relaxation by 40 per cent, they say will result in 300,000 new infections and 40,000 deaths in November.

President Uhuru has also directed the Ministry of Education and that of Health to issue and publish guidelines for reopening in September 2020 and that the ministry will announce the new school calendar in mid-August.

Covid 19 Time Series


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