Mombasa county recorded 12 out of the 17 new Coronavirus infections across the country, in the latest health ministry update done on Thursday, heightening prevailing fears that the port city could be the country’s epicenter for the virus spread.
The 17 cases, five of which were from Nairobi, tested positive from 668 samples collected over the previous 24 hours and comprised nine men and 8 women, Mercy Mwangangi, the health ministry cabinet administrative secretary (CAS), said.
Mwangangi said all the 17 were Kenyans aged between 22 and 60 years, bringing the total national tally to 320.
Six recoveries were also recorded during this period and put the total number of recoveries across the country at 89.
“Most of the samples that turned positive were picked by our surveillance teams meaning they are people living among us and so there is community spreading,” said Mwangagi.
The latest statistics continue to put Mombasa on the national map as a hot spot, with indications that there could be more stringent containment measures taken by the government to curb further spread of the virus within the Coast region in the coming days.
On Thursday, Mombasa county health CEC Hazel Koitaba, however, attributed the surge in cases in the county to the mass testing being conducted at the Kenya Ports Authority.
On Wednesday, Kilifi issued a circular banning all entries and exits from the county, including their own staff and vehicles, in what appeared to be precautionary measures against Mombasa whose cases have continued to rise.
In ongoing measures to curb the virus spread, one popular supermarket within Mombasa’s Central Business District was closed over accusations of overcrowding and exposing customers to infection.