The government has shelved a plan to hold a simulation exercise on coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness in the country.
The Ministry of Health was expected to carry out the drill today (Sunday) at Kenyatta National Hositaptal (KNH) and Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi at around 11 am.
But in a statement on Sunday morning, Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the exercise has been cancelled as it is “no longer necessary”.
Oguna noted that the decision was arrived at after Kenya reported its first coronavirus case on Friday.
“Simulation Exercise at KNH & Mbagathi – Considering there already is a patient being attended to at the facility, the previously planned simulation exercise is no longer necessary & has since been called off, ” Oguna said adding that the government will give further information later.
UPDATE: Simulation Exercise at KNH & Mbagathi – Considering there already is a patient being attended to at the facility, the previously planned simulation exercise is no longer necessary & has since been called off. Further information shall be provided in due course.
— Spokesperson GoK (@SpokespersonGoK) March 15, 2020
While making the simulation revelations on Friday Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had urged member of the public not to panic.
“On Sunday at 11 o’clock, we will be carrying out a simulation of a real case at Mbagathi hospital. I would beg the media to say because I don’t want when the ambulance start wailing away for people to think we have a real case situation, ” the CS said.
The patient who has been isolated is a woman who travelled from the U.S. to Nairobi through London.
The 27-year-old woman is said to have jetted into the country on March 5.
On Saturday, the ministry said that the government has tracked and quarantined 22 people believed to have interacted with the woman.
Mercy Mwangangi, the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health, said samples from the 22 had been taken and were being tested.