Kenya unveiled a series of strict measures to curb the coronavirus on Sunday. The country has decided to block entry into the country to all except citizens and residents. Kenya also announced that it is shutting schools and encouraging companies to allow employees to work from home as the number of confirmed cases rose to three.
Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe announced two people who sat next to the first patient on the aeroplane as she travelled back from the United States via London had tested positive to the virus.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said “As a result of this we are going to implement the following measures: Only citizens of Kenya and foreigners with valid resident permits will be allowed to come into the country provided they proceed on self-quarantine or in a government quarantine facility”.
Kenyatta said this would come into effect in the next 48 hours and would remain in place for the following 14 days. Every foreigner who has entered the country in the past 14 days has been ordered to self-quarantine.
Kenyatta also said citizens should avoid congregating in places of worship and shopping malls.
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After being relatively spared from the coronavirus that has killed more than 6,000 and infected nearly 160,000, Africa now has 25 countries reporting cases compared with nine a week ago.
Coronavirus in other East African Nations
Ethiopia, which like Kenya reported its first case of the coronavirus on Friday, on Sunday said three contacts of its initial patient had tested positive.
In a Facebook post, the health ministry said that the three cases include two Japanese citizens aged 44 and 47, and one Ethiopian aged 42. All of them work in Addis Ababa and had close contact with the first confirmed case”.
Ethiopia is Africa’s second-most populous nation with more than 100 million people and a key hub into the continent. It is one of few countries in the region that did not implement measures such as blocking travellers to avoid the spread.
Mauritania, Rwanda, Seychelles and Central African Republic confirmed their first coronavirus cases on Saturday. Moving swiftly to contain its spread, other East African nations of Rwanda, Senegal, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Morocco also announced tougher control measures.
As of Friday 13th March, the United Nations said 39 countries had closed schools worldwide, affecting more than 420 million children and young people.