Kenya’s 48-hour calm as coronavirus kills 600 more in Italy

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during one of the daily coronavirus updates./COURTESY

Kenya enjoyed over two consecutive days of relative calm, but remained on high alert even as the deadly coronavirus killed 627 people in Italy in a single day.

On Friday, the number of confirmed infections within the country remained at seven, two days after they had increased from three, with at least 18 other suspected cases that had been quarantined, testing negative.

Health cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe however warned it was still early to celebrate since the next two weeks would be critical in determining the state of the virus in the country.

“In all honesty, it is better for us to prepare for the worst. It is better for us to be ready for any eventuality, this is exactly what we have been doing, developing our capacity, so that in any eventuality, we can at least be able to offer Kenyans all the support that is possible within government,” said CS Kagwe.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Entertainment joints to be closed by 7:30pm

Mombasa county government announced it would close down the key Kongowea market from Sunday, and also ordered the closure of all worship places including churches, mosques and temples.

On Friday a few mosques conducted their prayers in open air, and some pastors who spoke to Baraka FM said they were looking for open grounds to hold their Sunday services.

Baraka FM spotted several posters on social media that announced cancellation of events which had been planned for this weekend.

Entertainment spots continued to be deserted with some costumers getting agitated when workers declined to serve them.

“What are you telling me, that I can’t get my beer now?” posed an angry white customer at a popular joint in Mombasa’s Nyali estate, before he stormed out.

Globally, the death toll surpassed 11,000 as more countries shut down their borders, the latest being America and Mexico.

Italy announced 627 more deaths on Friday, the largest single toll in one day across the world, pushing its total death toll to 4,032.

A video that went viral on social media late Friday depicted a tough-talking immigration official at an airport in Uganda ordering foreigners who had just landed into the country, into a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

“We have provided for you hotels for quarantine, if you don’t want the hotel, you have an option, get a ticket and go back, it’s as simple as that, and the quarantine will be at your own cost,” said the female immigration officer, who has received immense praise from across the East African region.