Kenya has confirmed 8 more cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of infections confirmed in the country to 15.
Out of the eight cases, five are Kenyans and three are foreigners.
The foreigners include two French nationals and one Mexican.
In a state of the nation address on Sunday Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said all the eight are imported cases from Europe and America.
The individuals entered the country through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) between March 4 and March 17.
The patients have been isolated at various isolation facilities in the country and are being monitored.
CS Kagwe said the government is tracing 367 persons who had come into close contact with the patients.
So far, three other people are waiting for test results and are isolated at Mbagathi Hospital’s isolation facility.
At least 22 people who had been quarantined at the facility have been discharged after they tested negative for the virus.
Following the rise in the number of confirmed cases in the county, the government has suspended all international flights effective Wednesday, March 25, mid-night.
The directive exempts cargo flights.
The government further directed that individuals coming into the country between today and Wednesday will undergo mandatory quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense.
The CS said countries wishing to evacuate their nationals must make arrangements to do so before Wednesday 25.
“Kenyans in foreign countries who would not have come back within the said period are advised to follow health guidelines issued in the respective countries, ” said Kagwe.
The CS further warned foreigners and Kenyans who had disregarded self-quarantine directive issued by the government.
Kagwe said going forward, such individuals will be forced to quarantine for 14 days. They will then be arrested and be prosecuted.
The CS said the directive will apply to all senior government officials including Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi who has been put under forced quarantine after a trip to Germany. Saburi is accused of refusing to self-quarantine.
Following the increase of the COVID-19 cases in the country, the government directed the suspension of church, mosques, funerals and other social gatherings. Funerals have been limited to 15 immediate family members.
The government further ordered the closure of all bars effective Sunday mid-night. The suspension period is indefinite.
“Restaurants will remain open for purposes of facilitating take away services, ” the CS said.
The CS said the directive is meant to reduce risk of transmission.
Globally, as of Sunday, March 22, 308,564 coronavirus cases had been recorded while the death toll stands at 13,069.
At least 95,829 people are reported to have recovered from the virus that broke out in the Wuhan city of China in December last year.