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Traveller from India held in Nakuru hospital over virus fear

By Standard Team | March 17th 2020

A 51-year-old woman who arrived in the country from India on March 5 has been placed under quarantine at the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital. 

County Director of Health Elizabeth Kiptoo told The Standard yesterday that the woman exhibited symptoms similar to those of patients with coronavirus.

"According to her travel documents, she had gone to India on March 1 and returned on March 5 via Ethiopia. She visited the hospital presenting with fever, cough and general malaise," said Dr Kiptoo.

The doctor said the patient was immediately put into quarantine and samples taken for analysis in Nairobi. "The patient has been stabilised. Samples have been collected and the results will be out in seven hours. We shall have the results back by midnight."

India is among countries that have reported imported cases of coronavirus disease although spread among her population is currently contained.

On Sunday, a 27-year-old Dutchman who arrived in the country nine days ago was quarantined at the Nakuru General Hospital.

Health Executive Kariuki Gichuki said they took precautionary measures after the hotel where the tourist was staying alerted authorities.

The man gave samples for testing but the results have not been made public. "He will be released on Friday if no trace of the virus is detected on him," said Dr Gichuki.

Elsewhere, the management of Naivasha Sub-county Hospital has limited the number of visitors to the facility. According to the new arrangements, patients admitted at the hospital will receive only one visitor every day.

Medical Superintendent Angeline Ithondeka said the measure was meant to address overcrowding, adding that at least 1,000 people walked through the facility's doors each day.

Separately, the closure of law courts caused crowding and confusion at police stations in Naivasha and Nakuru towns.

[Antony Gitonga, Julius Chepkwony, Harriet Shaaban and Kennedy Gachuhi]

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