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Story of Coronavirus patient who recovered raises many questions among Kenyans

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Wednesday, April 1, would have passed as any ordinary day were it not for an unusual live broadcast.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was having a video conference meeting the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, who was in the company of two individuals that had recovered from coronavirus.

The two were; Brenda Ivy Cherotich, now popularly known as Kenya’s first coronavirus patient and Brian Orinda, patient number three – who contracted the virus from Brenda.  On March 13, Kenya joined a growing list of countries around the world that have confirmed cases of coronavirus.

After the health CS made the announcement, life in Kenya changed – literally. In three weeks, the country has recorded 81 cases and one death. Kenyans are now strictly observing a 7pm to 5am curfew as part of the many measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

Patient zero goes public 

Following her going public, Brenda – patient zero – captured the attention of the entire country. In the interview, she confirmed that indeed she had the virus, explained where she could have possibly caught it, and revealed that she has now fully recovered from the virus.Clad in a red top and cream pants, Brenda looked bubbly as she gave a captivating narration of her experience with coronavirus.

With her was Brian. He came across as quiet – almost timid – judging by how he slouched on the chair during the video conference.

READ ALSO:   Why Brenda will not meet family soon despite recovering from virus

 

After her virtual meeting with Uhuru and media interviews in various stations, Brenda has now become an overnight sensation and a hot subject for trolls on the internet. She has been trending on Twitter for most of the day.Why Brenda has raised a stormStandard Digital has gone through several interviews Brenda has given after she came out in public to share her experience.

These are the questions Kenyans are asking:

How many days was Brenda in quarantine?

In the telecom with Uhuru, Brenda said she had been in quarantine for 23 days. During her interview at NTV, she said she was in quarantine for 22 days. “I’ve been in quarantine for 22 days now,” she said.

The difference between the date of recovery and confirmation of the first case is 20 days. So, where did the 23 days come from?

We do however acknowledge that Brenda said upon return to Nairobi, she developed a cough and a fever for three days. “I decided to give myself one day to see how my body would respond”.So, how many days was Brenda in quarantine?

Mbagathi Hospital or Kenyatta National Hospital?

After a now-famous virtual meeting with Kenyatta, Brenda said after exhibiting cough and fever, she took herself to hospital after calls to the Health Ministry toll number went unanswered. In her testimonial, Brenda said she went to Mbagathi hospital, where she was eventually put on quarantine.

READ ALSO:   New faces of hope amid virus crisis, but where is Lydia?

She also told NTV’s Dennis Okari that she called Mbagathi hospital and the toll free numbers, which went unanswered.“Okari: Did they pick you from the house? Brenda: The calls to Mbagathi hospital did not go through, that’s when I decide to take a cab and go there myself.”However, in an interview on Citizen TV on Wednesday night, Brenda thanked nurses and staff at the Kenyatta National Hospital for helping her to pull through the quarantine period.

So, where was Brenda quarantined?

How does Brian fit into Brenda’s story?

Brian Orinda, the third patient to recover from the coronavirus said he contracted the virus from Brenda.“I got the disease through contact with Brenda. Immediately her results were out, the authorities came for me. When I tested positive, they embarked on my treatment,” he said during the video conference with Uhuru.In an interesting twist, Brenda denies knowing Brian prior to contracting the coronavirus.

When asked who Brian was, she responded that she came to know him when he was brought into the isolation ward at Mbagathi hospital.Minutes later, she contradicts herself by saying Brian was one of the people who had been at her house in Rongai, after her return from the US.Brenda had also earlier said that after she experienced a mild cough and fever three days after her return, she made a few calls to her friends who had been to her house.So, how did Brenda infect Brian?

READ ALSO:   Real danger of reinfection for recovered Covid-19 patients

How old is Brenda?

While announcing the news of Kenya’s first confirmed positive case, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said, “the case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on March 5, 2020.

She was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The patient is clinically stable, and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.”

Kagwe said the patient was a 27-year-old woman.Brenda says she is 26-year-old.“I got it from the media when it was announced…that’s when someone called and said, Ivy, I think that is you,” she told NTV’s Dennis Okari.

Regarding her age, she said, “the media actually said I was 27-year-old, then I was like no, but I’m 26 years old… But I connected the dots.”Age is just a number. 26 or 27 is certainly a big deal for a woman. We get you Brenda!

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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Health

Alarm as town becomes new pandemic hotspot

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Shaban Juma jumps out of his truck and walks into a shop in Jua kali town in Uasin Gishu County, to buy a cigarette.

The visibly frustrated truck driver has stayed in Jua Kali, a village trading centre located about 30 kilometres from Eldoret, for the last eight days.

He mingles with a number of residents as he returns to his truck where about ten other truck drivers from Mombasa, heading to Uganda and Congo gather for a discussion.

This has been his new routine for days. Juma left Mombasa more than a week ago and is stuck in the highway town located in Turbo constituency, Uasin Gishu County.

Business as usual

Like him, more than 700 trucks and a group of 1,400 drivers and their turn boys have been camping at Jua Kali for more than a week owing to a Covid-19 testing deadlock at the Kenya Uganda border. Despite the rising coronavirus cases, restaurants and shops are operating as usual.

Worryingly, Turbo in Uasin Gishu County is the new epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, after tests confirmed that 26 out of 28 Uasin Gishu’s coronavirus positive cases are truck drivers from Mombasa who make stopovers along towns on the highway.

Last Friday and Saturday, eight and 11 truck drivers respectively tested positive for the disease, according to daily reports by Ministry of Health.

To contain the spread, the government set up a testing centre at Huruma, one of the areas where the truck drivers have been spending the nights en route to Uganda. Jua Kali is less than ten kilometres from the mobile testing centre in Huruma.

READ ALSO:   New faces of hope amid virus crisis, but where is Lydia?

The truck drivers and their turn boys say they decided to crowd in the small town until a traffic snarl-up occasioned by delays in Covid-19 testing in Malaba on the Kenya-Uganda, eases. Juma explains why most of them have been camping in the area instead of the border area. “We have more than 700 trucks here and more are still coming because it is better to spend the days here than be stranded on the Kenya-Uganda border,” Juma says.

He says they were tested for Covid-19 before leaving Mombasa and have never undergone the tests in Uasin Gishu, but residents along the towns are expressing fears of contracting the disease.

Truck driver Michael Kariuki says his body temperature was taken once for the entire eight days he has been camping in Turbo. Mr Kariuki says he had learnt about the rising numbers of truck drivers testing positive in Turbo yet there was no testing taking place.

He says more trucks are leaving Mombasa and they will stop in Eldoret until a traffic that has reached Webuye in the neighbouring Bungoma County. And there is a downside to these negative reports.

Fueling stigma

“The Covid-19 reports have led to our stigmatisation here in Kenya and Uganda. Ugandans are good people but the Kenyan government is recklessly publicising information that has created a perception that all truck drivers from Mombasa are Covid-19 positive. Our government should be sensitive on the reports it is relaying about us,” he says.

READ ALSO:   Real danger of reinfection for recovered Covid-19 patients

Lazaro Wanjohi, a trucker who has also been in Turbo for over a week, says they have been asked by authorities in Uasin Gishu not to interact with locals but no government official was enforcing the directive.

“We rarely see police providing security here. You can’t stop people interacting and buying from locals,” Wanjohi says.At a guest house along the busy highway, several Kenyan and Congolese drivers and some mechanics from Uasin Gishu, had gathered to enjoy a meal as they share their frustrations.

A worker at the joint says they were instructed not to allow truck drivers to spend the nights in the hotel but she admitted that several male clients were spending time, during the day with their girlfriends – a worrying habit. “We receive clients who spend day times with local women in the hotel rooms but sleep in their trucks at night,” the worker says.

In a spot check, The Standard discovered that several eateries along the new 35 kilometres hot spot highway stretching from Eldoret to Turbo town were receiving customers, both locals and truck drivers. Jua Kali resident Silas Kipkemboi, a mechanic, said he has not stopped fixing puncture and other technical issues for truckers despite the fears.

“They cook here at night and we share meals. During the day, most of them take their meals in eateries,” he says. Samuel Karanja, another resident said: “Most truck drivers are our friends. We do business with them. We have heard on TV that most of them are testing positive for coronavirus but here things are just normal.”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Many Kenyans seek solace in Karura Forest during these tough Corona times

Uasin Gishu County Executive Committee member (CECM) for health Evelyne Rotich said county authorities were not in a position to monitor the conduct of truck drivers while making stopovers along the highway.

“We can’t track movements and interaction of the truck drivers. This a multi-agency issue and all of us have a responsibility to enforce the measures,” Ms Rotich said.

She said of 17 cases confirmed positive by Friday, eight of the truckers were residents of Uasin Gishu. Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago on Thursday warned truck drivers from visiting their relatives whenever they were on their way to Uganda.

“We are asking truck drivers from Uasin Gishu to spare their families during this period,” Mandago warned. Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Abdirisack Jaldesa said the issues that have been causing delays at Malaba border have been resolved.

“Moi Teaching and Referral has been testing truck drivers who have not been tested in Mombasa and those whose test certificates have expired,” the commissioner said. He added: “Yes, there have been contacts between the long distance drivers and locals. We have held meetings and this will not happen again because we are clearing all trucks in Uasin Gishu.”

By Standard.co.ke

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Health

151 cases, but Kibra isn’t on lockdown

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The government appears hesitant to put Nairobi’s Kibra estate on lockdown despite increased number of Covid-19 cases that now stand at 151.

This figure is more than the cases recorded in Eastleigh and Mombasa’s Old Town which are on lockdown until June 6, 2020. The two areas were put under lockdown by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on May 6 after recording 58 and 67 cases, respectively. So far, Eastleigh has 121 and while Old Town has 91 cases.

Issuing yesterday’s Covid-19 update where he announced 143 new cases, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said informal settlements in the country were on the government’s radar. “We have seen increasing concern around Kibra partly because of extended testing,” said Dr Aman.

Aman announced that surveillance teams were focusing on Kenya’s largest informal.“If these numbers continue to increase, necessary interventions have to be taken,” he said. The number of Covid-19 cases in Kibra have been increasing steadily.

Between May 21 and May 28, the area had 99 cases. The adjacent Lang’ata area had 31 cases, most of which the ministry said were from Kibra.

From yesterday’s figures, where 143 people tested positive across the country, Kibra came second after Makadara estate in Nairobi. Out of the 86 cases in Nairobi, 45 were from Makadara while 21 were from Kibra.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan prostitutes want to be listed as essential workers during coronavirus Pandemic

Embakasi South come third with six cases. Langata had one case. There was no reported case from Eastleigh. Health Director General Patrick Amoth said densely populated informal settlements have become hotspots for the disease.

“It is practically difficult to ensure social distancing. The only measure left (in informal settlements) now is hygiene and use of masks,” said Dr Amoth.

According to the Director General, lack of access to clean water has played a role in the disease’s rapid spread in informal settlements.

Apart from Kibra, Eastleigh and now Makadara, Mathare is the other informal settlement which has registered more cases, the highest being 33.

So far, the disease has spread to 33 counties, the latest being Kericho which reported one case in Ainamoi area. Uasin Gishu reported 11 cases, all truck drivers.

August peak

The peak of the disease in Kenya is expected to be around August and September when the Health ministry predicts a daily tally of 200. “By then, we will be at 4,000 or 5,000 cases and by our fatality ratio, we will be at 160 or 180 deaths then,” said Amoth.

Up to 63 people have died so far from the disease, majority being those with underlying health conditions like asthma, hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions. Majority of the dead were more than 55 years old, prompting the Health ministry to issue caution on unique symptoms of the disease among the elderly. The common symptoms synonymous with Covid-19 are cough, fever, difficulty in breathing and cold.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Woman in viral video not the coronavirus patient - Kenyan Govt

“The elderly may have different symptoms that include lethargy, diarrhea, confusion, anxiety, unexplained strokes, loss of taste or brain inflammation,” said Amoth.

By Standard.co.ke

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Bishop Wanjiru denies hosting prayer meet that led to Covid-19

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When former Starehe legislator Bishop Margaret Wanjiru went to Aga Khan hospital a week ago, on Saturday she told journalists that she initially thought she was suffering from food poisoning, only for her to turn positive of COVID-19.

She was also suffering from diarrhea- which is the latest symptom of coronavirus, according to public health officials.

The Jesus is Alive Ministries bishop tested positive alongside her two grandchildren, who have also recovered. Her six members of staff are still in hospital.

“COVID-19 is real and should be taken seriously, and not only when you are at work. I did not leave home, the disease found me home,” she told a news conference at the Aga Khan Hospital, shortly after discharge.

She urged Kenyans to heed to the Ministry of Health precautionary measures and not to fear seeking medical help in hospital due to coronavirus.

“We take some things for granted when we are at home. We do not put on masks while at home. Even at home, use the mask, as much as you can. Learn from me,” the former legislator who started the briefing with a word of a prayer said.

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru was among patients discharged Saturday after recovering from COVID-19. /MOSES MUOKI.

The Bishop and her two grandchildren walked out of the hospital free of the virus, a week after being admitted. She attributes her healing to God.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan prostitutes want to be listed as essential workers during coronavirus Pandemic

“All along, I knew I had eaten bad food,” she said, “I did not have flu or cough. Anytime you feel disorder in your body, do not shy away from going to hospital.”

Wanjiru and her two grandchildren are among 26 Kenyans who have recovered from the disease, raising the tally to 464.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman said the patients were discharged from various hospitals across the country.

The death toll rose to 63, after a 50-year-old man succumbed to the virus.

The Ministry of Health said most of the people who have died were suffering from other underlying conditions, including Diabetes.

The Ministry said on Saturday that public health officials had discovered a new symptom exhibited by most COVID-19 patients–Diarrhoea. This is coupled up by high fever, dry cough and tiredness.

Dr Aman said the symptom has been recorded in many other parts of the world.

On Saturday, Bishop Wanjiru said she initially did not have coronavirus symptoms but had diarrhea and food poisoning, only to be confirmed with COVID-19 on testing.

The former Assistant Minister has been at Aga Khan Hospital since last week, and is among the 26 patients declared COVID-19 free on Saturday and now stand discharged from hospital.

READ ALSO:   Real danger of reinfection for recovered Covid-19 patients

The COVID-19 curve remained on a sharp increase in Kenya since last week, even as President Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to make a key announcement on the status of a national curfew and other restrictions.

A national curfew has been in place for the past two months until June 6, along with restrictions on cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera Counties.

On Saturday, there were 143 new cases reported, just a day after posting 127 cases on Friday.

On Thursday, 147 new cases were recorded from various counties, with particular focus to Nairobi and Mombasa counties which have been recording high figures.

Cummulatively, Kenya had recorded 1,888 positive cases by May 30, with a warning from the Ministry of Health on more cases as the country draws closer to its peak which was projected to start in June to around September.

Health CAS Aman said Kenya is it a critical period on the pandemic, and urged Kenyans to cooperate in observing social distancing and all other measures imposed to help prevent the spread.

The government has warned Kenyans against dropping the guard, after increased cases of people not using masks in public places were reported.

Dr Aman said the government was concerned at a new habit by leaders who have been holding large meetings, and urged them to respect the measures put in place.

READ ALSO:   New faces of hope amid virus crisis, but where is Lydia?

“We must respect these guidelines because that is the only way we will be able to beat the virus,” he said.

Concerns were raised after COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli convened a meeting at his Kajiado residence on Friday, attended by more that 50 leaders, among them four Governors and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, in what was billed as a Luhya-unity bid.

By Capital.co.ke

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