Kenya on Friday launched a 120-bed capacity isolation and treatment facility for suspected COVID-19 cases amid spread of the epidemic in some parts of Africa.
Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary for Health, said the facility that is based at Kenya’s main referral hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to enhance detection and treatment of the disease.
“We intend to open another facility soon as we intensify emergency response to coronavirus even though no single case has been reported in the country,” Kagwe told journalists in Nairobi.
He said the government in partnership with partners has boosted surveillance at ports of entry while promoting hygiene education to halt spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Kagwe also announced a ban on all meetings, conferences and events of international nature in Kenya for the next 30 days as a precautionary measure in the light of threats posed by the epidemic.
“Any conference or meeting of 15 people and above will not be allowed to take place in the country until the situation improves internationally,” said Kagwe.
He said the government has activated emergency operations center that is closely monitoring the evolution of the outbreak throughout the world.
Kagwe said that a highly trained rapid response team comprising over 1,000 health personnel is on standby to investigate any alert in the country.
“We have procured additional 5,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will be distributed to all health facilities in the country,” said Kagwe, adding that additional health workers will be deployed to counties to boost response to COVID-19.
The cabinet secretary said the government has temporarily lifted the ban on Italian flights to Kenya to help evacuate tourists from the European country that are currently holed up in the coastal resort town of Malindi.
“The flight will only have onboard their cabin crew, who will not disembark while the passengers are being picked,” Kagwe said. (Xinhua)