The Ministry of Health has confirmed five cases of the Indian coronavirus variant in Kenya.
The five are Indian nationals working at a fertiliser plant in Kisumu County.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, 5th May, acting Health Director-General Patrick Amoth said that the cases were picked up on Thursday last week on arrival in Kenya before the ban on flights from India was imposed.
“We picked this up from a sample of Indian travellers who are doing some work in the western part of Kisumu. We have gone ahead together with the Kisumu County health team to do contact tracing,” said Dr Amoth.
Meanwhile, the Health CEC, Prof Boaz Otieno-Nyunya, issued a statement, saying that surveillance had been stepped up after the Indian Covid-19 variant was detected in the county.
“Following gene sequencing carried out on samples by the national government testing laboratories, it has been ascertained that one of the samples turned positive for the Indian variant of Covid-19,” Prof Otieno-Nyunya said.
He said the county had confined at least eight foreign nationals, who tested positive to the Indian variant and is conducting an elaborate contact tracing to help stop the spread of the virus.
He said all the eight, who were working at a factory, are suspected to have recently travelled from India.
“At least 100 other workers who are said to have had close contact with the eight have been placed under strict quarantine as the county moves with speed to stop a further spread of the virus,” he said.
He urged Kisumu residents to continue adhering to the Covid-19 protocols to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
“The situation is under control but we urge Kisumu residents to continue adhering to the Covid-19 protocols to help keep away the stubborn virus. Our disease surveillance teams are alert and contact tracing is going on. Our people must avoid gatherings and wear masks at all times.”
The news comes days after the government suspended flights to and from India for 14 days following the upsurge of Covid-19 cases in the Asian country.