By The EastAfrican
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Kenya has risen by 12, bringing the number of positive cases in the country to 246.
Five of the 12 are hotel workers while four are from contact tracing, the cabinet secretary for health, Mutahi Kagwe, said at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as he accompanied cabinet secretaries Fred Matiang’i and James Macharia to receive a consignment of medical supplies from China that was flown to the country by a Kenya Airways flight.
“As we stand right now, at this hour, we have already tested about 450 samples out of this, we have already got 12 positive cases and we have not finished the day. What this tells you is that we need to really start the testing capacity so that the contacts of those people who are positive can also be tested and therefore we can contain the pandemic,” said Mr Kagwe.
The number of people tested for the virus now stands at 10,784 following this latest update from Mr Kagwe.
The Kenya Airways flight from China brought 500,000 three-ply masks, 200,000 testing and sampling tubes which are key to Kenya’s ability to mass-test the public, 4,000 shoe covers for use by frontline health workers, 300 static shoes used in theatres, 76,000 N95 masks and face visors.
“We were getting desperate for some of the items that are on this flight and we are glad to see that the cooperation across all government agencies is what is going to help us in winning this war against this deadly pandemic. We are really grateful that Kenya Airways has been able come on board and assist us to the extent that they have. We have developed protocols with them on how to travel and quarantine themselves as crew so we are happy about what is happening,” said Mr Kagwe.
Speaking at the press conference at JKIA, Dr Matiang’i said his ministry is doing everything to enforce the curfew and the guidelines that the Ministry of Health has spelt out.
“We are stepping up preparations in the event of more challenges. Our plan with the county governments is working. County Governments, working with County Commissioners, have been asked to put aside isolation centres in the event that we need them. I now can confirm that we have been advised by our colleagues in the Ministry of Trade that we will have enough face masks in the country,” he said.
The arrival of the medical supplies comes at a time the government has ramped up efforts to combat the coronavirus disease through restriction of movements and a re-organisation of the budget to allocate funds to the fight against the pandemic.
The National Treasury has set aside Ksh2.66 billion ($24 million) for the Ministry of Health coronavirus response for the next two months, according to the supplementary budget estimates.