Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia all confirmed their first coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours as the global pandemic picks up pace around the world.
Kenya’s health ministry confirmed the its first coronavirus case on Friday, prompting the nation to put its emergency preparedness efforts to the test. The 27-year old Kenyan woman arrived in the country on Mar. 5 via a US-originated flight with a layover in London. The health secretary Mutahi Kagwe assured the public the ministry is tracing all contacts including recording names of passengers on her inbound flight.
For East Africa’s largest economy, treatment facilities may not be enough to contain the virus’ spread. Kenya depends heavily on tourism and trade as a vital aspects of the economy making it difficult to issue a full scale ban of flights from affected areas. In preparation for the potential blow that coronavirus may wreak Kenya’s government has committed 500 million Kenyan shilling ($5 million) for a post-coronavirus public relations campaign.
On Thursday night Mar. 12, Ghana confirmed its first two cases of Covid-19 who returned to the country from Norway and Turkey. The health minister said both patients are in isolation and the government has initiated processes for contact tracing.