The government has heightened surveillance in Kenya’s entry points to prevent the entry of deadly coronavirus which broke out in China less than a month ago.
The Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday afternoon that all travellers coming to Kenya will be screened before being allowed into the country.
Dr Patrick Amoth, the Acting Public Health Director-General, said that the ministry was not taking anything to chance owing to deep business relations with the Asian country.
He said the ministry had sent out an alert to all 47 counties to take part in the surveillance exercise.
“As a country, we have sent an alert to all the 47 counties through county directors. We have also heightened surveillance at all points of entry and screening has started,” said Dr Amoth.
At least three flights land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) carrying passengers from China every day.
@MOH_Kenya has heightened survillance at all ports of entry & screening of passengers for coronavirus. An alert has also been sent to all 47 counties through the directors of health & @KenyaGovernors to widen efforts, Dr. Patrick Amoth Ag. DG confirms @CapitalFMKenya @KTNNewsKE pic.twitter.com/BS3nmBNQYm
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) January 22, 2020
The officer further said the government is waiting for further guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The organisation, whose primary role is to direct international health within the United Nations’ system and to lead partners in global health responses. is expected to make a decision on whether it will categorise the outbreak a global public health emergency.
International reports indicate that at least 17 people have succumbed to the mysterious Sars-like coronavirus.
More than 470 people are reported to have contracted the virus.
BBC reports that the Chinese government has warned people to stop travelling in and out of Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.
According to the New York Times, The virus causes a pneumonialike illness, with coughing and fever in some people but not all. The severity matters: If there are cases with mild illness or no symptoms at all, they may go undetected, and those people will keep working, shopping and traveling, possibly infecting others.