A COVID-19 variant first diagnosed in India has been detected in Kenya, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
Acting Director-General for Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said five cases were reported in people working at a fertilizer plant in Kisumu.
He said the cases were picked up on arrival into the country on Thursday last week before the ban on flights from India was imposed.
“Yes, this variant has been picked in Kenya, and because of global connectivity, it is just a question of time. You cannot be able to put barriers to prevent a virus from accessing your territory,” said Dr. Amoth.
The Vice President of the Executive Board of World Health Organisation (WHO) further added that contact tracing is currently ongoing.
Kenya becomes the second country in East Africa to record a case of the deadly Indian COVID-19 variant after Uganda.
On Wednesday, the country recorded 489 news COVID-19 cases from a sample size of 4,426 tested in 24 hours.
The country’s positivity rate rose to 11 per cent, more than double the positivity rate of 5.2 per cent that was recorded on Tuesday/
552 more patients recovered, 303 from various health facilities and 249 from home-based and isolation care. Total recoveries stood at 109,769.
20 patients succumbed to the virus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 2,825.