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May 20, 20203min750
Kenya: Coronavirus cases pass 1,000 mark after 66 new cases

Kenya continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with cases steadily rising each day.

Government has locked down a handful of counties including the capital Nairobi and imposed a night-time curfew as part of containment efforts.

Kenya as of May 10 was the fourth most impacted country in the East / Horn of Africa region only behind Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia.

Government also rolled out mass testing in virus hot spots, borders remain shut and a ban on public gatherings continues.

However, latest tally in Kenya on Tuesday showed infection has passed the 1,000 mark and the milestone was achieved with the highest one-day record of new cases.

Tueday’s 66 cases, 30 of which were detected in Mombasa County, is the highest to be recorded since the index case.

The announcement was made by Health Minister Muhati Kagwa during a press briefing.

He also confirmed that cessation of movement in Eastleigh and Old Town had been extended until June 6, 2020; malls and eateries to remain closed until same date.

“We would like to thank the German Embassy for giving us mobile labs, to do COVID-19 tests on site especially at the Namanga border point; Minister for East Africa and Regional Cooperation, Adan Mohamed also disclosed.

The East African Community Secretariat has also procured mobile labs to enhance testing of truck drivers. On the Kenyan side, one lab will be stationed at the Namanga border point and another one in Naivasha.

Working on its border, Kenyan officials have been busy at border points with neighbouring Tanzania – areas that have been declared virus hot spots days ago. 182 foreigners who tried to enter the country were deported after testing positive for coronavirus.

Of the cases, 126 tested positive in the main border crossing of Namanga. The others were diagnosed in four other border points. The nationalities of the foreigners were not disclosed.

President Kenyatta last weekend shut borders with Tanzania and Somalia citing an increase in cross-border infections. Cargo vehicles were exempted, but drivers have to be tested for coronavirus at border points.

“We can not allow people from outside Kenya to come in without a Covid-19 free certificate, just like we are not allowing Kenyan drivers to leave without a certificate,” Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe told a media briefing on Tuesday.

(Sources: Agencies)

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