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Corona is no joke, says Kagwe as cases hit 110

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Kenyans should brace themselves for tough times ahead, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warned yesterday as the number of people infected with coronavirus surged past 100 while two more patients succumbed to the disease.

In his most candid admission yet of the grim situation the country is facing because of the rapid spread of the disease, the minister painted a worrisome picture in the coming days, sounding the alarm that coronavirus cases were going to rise, a situation that could force the government to impose more stringent restrictive measures.

“This number is going to rise and will do so exponentially. The virus is moved by you and I, therefore we need to change behaviour if we are to limit transmissions. Please do not wait to hear of death near you, for you to realise that this disease is not a joke,” said Kagwe.

The statistics, he added, are now showing that at least a third of the infections were local, given that 40 of those who were tested yesterday had not travelled outside the country. By yesterday 110 people had tested positive.

“The situation is getting worse. It is high time that we as a people take the directives given by the government seriously, maintain hygiene by sanitising and keeping social distance,” said the CS.

The minister, who appeared angry with the carefree attitude that Kenyans were displaying towards the pandemic with some mocking the recovering cases and branding the government’s efforts as mere public relations (PR) stunts, warned that those using social media to belittle the State’s efforts would be arrested.

READ ALSO:   Kericho villagers block mourners from Nairobi, say they are spreading corona

“Why would the government conspire with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to stage a PR stunt out of the current pandemic?” the CS posed.

He was alluding to adverse social media comments over the recovery of the first Corona patient Brenda Cherutich, who had a video chat with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday.

In a no-holds-barred address at Afya House yesterday where he updated the country on the status of the pandemic, the CS warned those who claim that the spread of the disease is not as serious as the government is making it sound.

“Part of the disappointment is those who claim that they do not know anybody in their area, who has either died or been tested positive of the disease. This is precisely the effort we are trying to make so that we do not hear of death or a positive case,” the apparently frustrated CS said.

The minister said the controversial mandatory quarantine was paying off going by yesterday’s developments. All the additional 29 cases were of individuals who were on forced into isolation in Nairobi.

Prevent interaction

Out of the new cases, three were quarantined at the Aga Khan University Hospital, 11 at Crowne Plaza Hotel at the airport, one each at Nairobi Hospital and Pride Inn Hotel while six were in other isolation facilities. The net effect is that their isolation had prevented interaction with the public and relatives.

READ ALSO:   This man Mutahi Kagwe

“These are the people who would have travelled to their villages to stay with their next of kin, friends and even the aged,” Kagwe said.

Acting Director of Health Patrick Amoth, said 40 of those who have tested positive contracted the disease locally.

“This is a confirmation that the virus is here with us,” Amoth said even as it emerged that a 16-year-old was among the newly-infected.

Studies have indicated that elderly people and patients with existing medical conditions were the most vulnerable to the respiratory disease that has forced the government to impose a dawn-to-dusk curfew in the country.

The two patients who succumbed to the disease to bring the Corona toll to three were from Nairobi and Mombasa. One of the deceased was a Kenya Airways (KQ) pilot, Major (rtd) David Kibati, while the other worked at Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Ursula Buluma.

And in a mixture of fortunes, the CS announced that Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, who had to be put on forced quarantine two weeks ago after failing to isolate himself, had recovered fully from the disease. The politician will be charged in court for allegedly failing to take precautions despite knowing his potential to infect others.

Saburi has been criticised for failing to adhere to a directive on 14-day self quarantine after he returned from a trip to Germany and went ahead to attend public functions in the county.

READ ALSO:   Nation Media Group announces mass firing

“The Kilifi Deputy Governor has fully recovered after testing negative for the mandatory test three times … however, he will still be charged under the Public Health Act,” Kagwe said.

Those in quarantine were warned to adhere to social distancing with the CS cautioning some of them who are said to be loitering out of the isolation centres before the expiry of the mandatory 14 days that they were risking infection if they are negative.

The government also announced stiffer measures to deal with the disease, include observing high standards of hygiene.

Kagwe urged Kenyans to avoid mass movement from Nairobi to upcountry destinations, saying by so doing they would be endangering lives of those in the rural parts. “The only people who should be allowed to travel are those transporting food stuff,” Kagwe said.

It will also be mandatory for commuters using matatus, tuk tuk and boda bodas to wear masks at all times. The CS said the government had made arrangements for mass production of masks, which will be affordable to Kenyans.

By PD


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Health

Coronavirus-burdened US warns its citizens against travel to Kenya

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The US government has issued a travel advisory to Kenya, citing an increased risk of contracting Covid-19, this despite the country being among those leading globally with the virus infections.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in an updated health notice on Wednesday warned American citizens against travelling to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

CDC placed the four nations under Level 4 Alert, meaning there is a very high level of Covid-19 and all non-essential travel should be avoided.

“Travelers should avoid all travel to Kenya. Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19,” said CDC in a notice.

If one must travel to these countries, they must strictly adhere to the health protocols on Covid-19 including wearing masks and keeping six feet distance from other people, CDC added.

“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19,” stated the US health institute on its website.

“During travel, wear a mask, stay at least six feet from people who are not traveling with you, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and watch your health for signs of illness.”

CDC further urged American travellers to get tested for Covid-19 one to three days before travel and only leave the country after receiving the results.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Try sausage mbili na soda moja, Kagwe advises thirsty Kenyans

Those returning to the US must also undergo testing one to three days earlier and adhere to all Covid-19 regulations.

According to the CDC, a Level 3 Travel Health Notice is the highest risk level and means citizens should strive to avoid all non-essential travel.

A CDC Level 2 Travel Health Notice advises American citizens to practice enhanced precautions while a Level 1 Travel Health Notice advises Americans to practice usual precautions.

The warnings come as US reported its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a single day on Wednesday with 3,157 new fatalities and more than 273,799 people having died due to the virus and more than 13.9 million infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

On Thursday, Kenya registered the highest recoveries on a single day after 11,324 patients were discharged in 24 hours bringing the total number of recoveries to 67,788 since April 1.

Similarly, 1,253 patients tested positive after 10,170 samples were analyzed in the same period.

Kenya’s caseload rose to 86,383 on Thursday out of 911,596 samples analyzed since March.

The Covid-19 death toll also rose to 1,500 after 16 more patients succumbed to the disease.

by NN


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Health

Kericho man who woke up in mortuary dies

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The man who was taken to the mortuary at Kapkatet Sub County Hospital in Kericho County after being presumed dead, has breathed his last.

Peter Cheruiyot died while being transferred to Kericho County Referral Hospital in an ambulance on Thursday afternoon for specialised treatment.

He was transferred to the mortuary hours after his family rushed him to hospital after collapsing at his home.

Cheplanget Ward Representative Hezborn Tonui confirmed that the man had passed on.

“It is true. He has breathed his last while being transferred to Kericho for further treatment. I am at the homestead condoling with the family,” Mr Tonui told the Nation on telephone.

In an interview with the Nation on Thursday last week, Cheruiyot said it was a miracle he was still alive. He was confident that he would recover and join his family. But that did not come to pass.

 “I am happy to be alive…it is a miracle that I am breathing, talking and I can move my limbs and eat. This is the work of God,” the 32 year old Cheruiyot told the Nation in an interview on Thursday last week.

Cooling chamber

In what generated a lot of reaction in the South Rift region and beyond, the father of four cried out when a mortician attempted to cut an incision on his leg so as to insert preservatives on the body before it could be put in the cooling chamber.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Try sausage mbili na soda moja, Kagwe advises thirsty Kenyans

“I felt an excruciating pain on the leg and screamed my lungs out. It is like I was being burned with a hot iron bar,” said Cheruiyot.

As we conducted the interview, relatives, villagers and curious members of the public jammed the male ward at the hospital to have a glimpse of the man who “rose from the dead”.

“I do not know what happened prior to my being dumped in the mortuary. The next thing I knew after screaming, which I was initially not sure if anyone heard me, is that I was being wheeled to the ward,” said the former matatu tout.

After screaming and catching the attention of the mortician, the patient passed out again and was rushed to the emergency ward where doctors resuscitated him before admission.

When he fainted at Keroncho village in Cheplanget on Tuesday last week, the patient was rushed to hospital by relatives.

At the hospital, he was allegedly left unattended by doctors and nurses at the casualty ward.

“How they (medics) arrived at the conclusion that I had died, leading to my transfer to the mortuary is a matter of conjecture,” said Cheruiyot adding that the fresh wound on the right upper part of the leg which was cut in the morgue was very painful.

READ ALSO:   Shock as beloved young Kenyan doctor dies of Coronavirus

Interestingly, despite looking frail and at times struggling to speak, he had a razor sharp memory as he could recognise relatives and friends by name.

Family members said that the man had been battling a terminal illness and had been in and out of various hospitals in the region.

Low immunity

Due to his low immunity, he has been admitted to some of the facilities for days for treatment according to medical records seen by the Nation.

“When he fainted at home, we used a Toyota Probox to rush him to hospital where doctors said he had passed on. We were shocked to be told later by the mortuary attendants that he was still alive,” Mr Kevin Kipkirui, the patient’s younger brother, told journalists at the hospital.

Dr Gilbert Cheruiyot, the Medical Superintendent at Kapkatet Sub County Hospital said last week that the patient was taken to the mortuary by his relatives.

“In a breach of protocol, the family members rushed the patient to the mortuary after presuming that he had died,” said Dr Cheruiyot

He said that the matter was under investigations and the gaps that had been detected would be addressed after a report on investigation is tabled.

Members of the Kericho County Assembly on Tuesday absolved medical officers at the hospital of blame after an ad hoc committee on health formed to investigate the matter tabled its report in the House.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Coronavirus cases jump to 25

The committee was chaired by Hezron Ngetich (Chilchila ward), with Ms Ann Tum (nominated) as the vice chairperson while other members are- Paul Chirchir, Gilbert Ngetich, Wangare Njuguna, Emily Kerich, Erick Bii, Humprhey Kirui, Eric Bett and Philip Rono.

by nation.africa


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Health

KQ loses second pilot to Covid-19 in London

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The national carrier Kenya Airways has lost another pilot to Covid-19.

Captain Salah Salim Jeizan, 57, died at a London hospital on Wednesday, the airline’s chief human resources officer Evelyne Munyoki said in a condolence message.

Captain Jeizan flew to London’s Heathrow Airport on November 7 from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but developed difficulties in breathing while in a London hotel.

Jeizan was rushed to the hospital from his hotel room and put on oxygen.

According to Ibrahim Johnny, a close colleague, the deceased will be buried on Thursday in London under the Islamic law.

Captain Jeizan joined the national carrier in 2001 as a junior pilot and rose through the ranks to his last position as a senior captain on the Boeing 787 fleet.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Coronavirus cases jump to 25

He flew to different international destinations in Europe, US and the Middle East.

“On behalf of the board of directors, the management and staff of Kenya Airways, we join the family of the late captain Jeizan in mourning their beloved one and pray that the almighty God will strengthen them during this time of sorrow,” KQ said in a statement.

In April Kenya lost its first captain, Daudi Kibati, days after commandeering a flight that evacuated Kenyans stranded in the US after the outbreak of Covid-19.

The captain was taken ill on March 29 after returning from New York and he died on April 1.

By NN


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