Kenya records fourth positive coronavirus case

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Kenya has confirmed its fourth positive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The country’s Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe told journalists in the capital Nairobi that the patient entered Kenya on the 8 March from London.

Kenya confirmed its first positive case last Friday, with President Uhuru Kenyatta announcing two more positive cases on Sunday.

Kagwe says the government is now in the process of tracing all the contacts with the said case.

“Today (Tuesday) we have received confirmation of another case of coronavirus following tests carried out on a patient in on our private health facilities; this now brings the number of cases to four. The latest case was confirmed at our national influenza laboratory, the patient is reported to have travelled.”

SABC’s Sarah Kimani reports that Kenya has suspended learning in all its institutions: 

Zimbabwe declares national disaster

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe on Tuesday has declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster although the country has not reported any confirmed cases as yet.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the announcement with similar measures as  South Africa’s to contain the outbreak.

“Government has postponed the Zimbabwean International Trade Fair, all national independence celebrations previously planned and the pending international sporting fixtures until the threat of coronavirus recedes. All these activities will resume as we are satisfied that the nation is no longer at risk, resources originally earmarked for these events will now be redirected towards strengthening our defences against the coronavirus.”

More coronavirus cases in Africa

Tanzania, Liberia, Benin and Somalia confirmed their first coronavirus cases on Monday, as more African nations shut their borders amid fears the disease could cause their fragile health systems to collapse.

The new cases mean 30 African nations – more than half the continent – are now treating nearly 400 patients with coronavirus.

Somalia, which has been at civil war since 1991, is completely reliant on donors to support its meagre public hospitals. Fighting between Islamist insurgents and the internationally-backed government has forced more than 2.6 million Somalis to flee their homes.

International flights to Somalia were suspended for two weeks, the aviation minister told Somali national television.

In West Africa, Liberia announced its first case. Liberia was devastated by a 2014 Ebola epidemic that killed 4 000 people and many health professionals. The healthcare system has remained underfunded despite promises of investment.

Benin, considered a relatively stable democracy in the turbulent West African region, also announced its first case. The health ministry said the Beninois national was being held in an isolation ward in the capital after returning from Belgium and Burkina Faso on March 11.

The health ministry in the East African nation of Tanzania also confirmed its first case, a Tanzanian woman who had travelled to Denmark, Sweden and Belgium. She had her temperature taken at the airport, but had no fever and was allowed to pass, but later felt unwell at her hotel, the ministry said.

Also on Monday, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Cameroon all reported more cases. –Additional reporting by Reuters