Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Friday, March 20, stated that four more suspected cases of coronavirus had been admitted at the isolation unit at Mbagathi Hospital in the last 24 hours.

Mutahi stated that one of the cases tested negative while the others were still waiting on the results.

“We are also following on another case in Kilifi County whose tests are also running and will be cleared by tomorrow 7 p.m.,” Kagwe stated. 

The CS further stated that actions taken by the Kenyan government would be guided on what had been observed in other countries.

“Trends that we have observed in other countries indicate that the number of infected persons increases dramatically following confirmation of the first case.

“The next two weeks are critical for this country. As we seek to contain the outbreak, we remain focused on emphasizing a high level of hygiene,” the CS stated.

To contain the impact of the disease, Kagwe announced that the National Emergency Committee had resolved to have bars and all entertainment areas closed by 7:30 p.m every day until further notice from Monday, March 23.

He added that during the hours of business, the facilities would control the number of people at any given time.

“The above facilities are encouraged to introduce, where possible, home delivery services and other innovative mechanisms,” he added.

Additionally, he directed all supermarkets to minise the number of shoppers at a given time.

“All supermarkets are required to limit the number of shoppers …A queue management system must be established to manage the crowds outside the supermarket and priority be given to the elderly, pregnant mothers and people living with disabilities,” he stated.

“While going to supermarkets, let me reiterate, it is one person at a time; we do not expect people to go to supermarkets or other social areas bunched together with their children, families…leave them at home. Shopping must be restricted to one person,” he added.

All 14-seater matatus were also ordered to carry a maximum of eight passengers; 25-seater PSVs to carry a maximum of 15 travellers; and those with a 30-plus capacity, to restrict to 60% of the number of seats.

The CS warned employers who were continuing to keep their employees in work, despite the government’s advice.

“They will be held in bad light in future if anything were to happen in those premises,” he cautioned.

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