Kenya has announced 14 more cases of the Covid-19 disease, bringing the total of confirmed cases in the country to 172.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe reported this in an update on Tuesday, in which he noted that 12 of the new patients are Kenyans and two foreigners.
He said four had a history of travel, four had been quarantined and 10 picked up following surveillance.
CS Kagwe said the 14 were among 696 people tested in the last 24 hours.
CS Kagwe said Kenya’s capacity to test for the coronavirus and to monitor and trace has increased.
“We have tested 4,923 people so far,” he told a press conference.
He added that the testing of all health workers and medical staff, including those in private hospitals and quarantine facilities, will begin immediately.
“We have a new reagent for automatic testing,” he said, noting the tests will not be manual.
Regarding testing kits, said 200,000 more will be available in seven days.
“I’m confident about our ability to supply the kits,” he said.
While reiterating measures the public must take to prevent spread of the deadly virus, CS Kagwe said social distancing must be observed in open air sporting clubs.
The numbers of people visiting these facilities must also be limited, he said, adding that golf clubs and club houses will be closed until further notice.
He noted that the government will take sterner measures if necessary.
On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the restriction of movement into and out of four affected counties – Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale – for three weeks.
This was in addition of a countrywide dusk to dawn to curfew that was effected on March 27.
CS Kagwe said the President’s announcement of the restricted movement was partly informed by a case of the virus in Mandera, of a person who had travelled from Mombasa.
He reiterated that inter-county movement is discouraged.
The minister told the public to “brace for bad news and be ready because all the measures we are taking won’t stop a disease that’s already here”.
He said mortality may be low but that this is no reason to relax.
“We are preparing for the worst … be ready to face insurmountable realities … be ready mentally,” he said.
“Be ready to face a situation we haven’t faced before. I know we will pull through based on the support from all quarters,” he added.