Presidential Staffers in Kenya Test Positive to Covid-19

Four State House staff have tested positive for Covid-19 according to results obtained from mass testing of presidency staff who reside outside of Kenya’s Presidential residence.

It is the first time the pandemic has hit Kenya’s presidency, underscoring the fact that Covid-19 is no respecter of social, political, or economic status.

State House Spokesperson Ms. Kanze Dena, said in a statement that “family members and close contacts of the affected officers are being also attended to”.

State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena

She said that State House has tightened screening for members of staff who are residing outside the premises following the confirmation of the four cases, noting that “extra protocols for State House staff residing outside the compound, and visitors have been rolled out.”

She assured the public that President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First family were safe.

“State House would also like to inform Kenyans that His Excellency the President and the First Family are safe and free from Covid-19."

"Let us all, therefore, endeavour to fully adhere to the Covid-19 containment protocols as set out by the Ministry of Health," she stressed.

Ms. Dena explained that proactive measures are being implemented to contain the spread of the virus, following, which State House staff are regularly tested for the disease.

According to Ms. Dena, the identities of the four officials could not be disclosed due to privacy protocol. She said the four were however in isolation and receiving treatment at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral, and Research Hospital in Kiambu County.

Dena's State House statement came closely after the Ministry of Health asked Kenyans to start planning and familiarizing themselves with the home-based health care protocols as guided by the Ministry and WHO. This is in preparation for the soon-to-be-rolled out Covid-19 Home-based care. Family members will be caring for their loved ones who have tested positive for the virus at home. This follows the rise in new infections.

The government launched the home-based care protocols last week to ease the burden in public hospitals most of which have almost reached full capacity. Nairobi and Mombasa counties were reportedly at capacity, yet about 78 percent of the patients were asymptomatic and did not require hospitalization. They could be taken care of at home thereby easing the pressure on the country’s 3,700 beds in Covid-19 isolation units.

As of Tuesday, June 16, Kenya had confirmed 3,860 Covid-19 cases from testing of 121,926 samples. Those who have recovered so far are 1,326, while the death toll from the virus stood at 105.