Insurance companies will continue to cover individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has revealed.
In a statement on Friday, March 13, IRA said the move is in support of the government’s “mitigation measures aimed at minimizing exposure to policy holders and beneficiaries”.
“Following an engagement with the insurance companies, the Commissioner of Insurance Mr. Godfrey Kiptum would like to dispel fears by members of the public that insurance companies will not cater for the needs for those affected by the Coronavirus, ” the statement reads in part.
I would like to assure the public that the insurance companies will continue to provide their services to policy holders affected or infected with the virus. ”
The authority further revealed it has rechead out to the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus as part of its mandate to advise the Government on insurance matters.
The authority had on Thursday said it would not cover individuals affected by coronavirus after it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The insurers will not be able to offer medical insurance cover for the condition at this moment. The insurers have this category of exclusion properly indicated in the policy documents,” Kiptum said.
The change of heart comes just hours after Kenya confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 virus.
In a statatment, the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the patient 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.
The CS pointed out that the patient is stable and her temperature has gone down to normal.
Kagwe urged Kenyans not to panic as the woman has been isolated and is under medication.
At the same time, the government suspended prison visits for 30 days.
Inter school activiteis have also been halted until further notice.
The government has also suspended all public gatherings meetings, games, events and church crusades.
“Churches can have services as long as they have sanitizer,” said Kagwe.
The CS urged all Kenyans to practice safety measures in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. These include thoroughly washing of hands, using alcohol based sanitizers, and keeping a 1 meter distance from a person who is sneezing or coughing.
Globally, more than 125,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in more 114 countries and over 4,600 deaths reported.
At least 10 countries in Africa have reported cases of coronavirus. They are Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Ghana.
According to WHO, coronavirus is a respiratory illness clinically resembling viral pneumonia and manifesting as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.