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Govt tracing 85 contacts of woman who tested negative and later positive at Mbagathi

The government says it is looking for 85 people who came into contact with a woman who was discharged from the Mbagathi Hospital after testing negative for coronavirus and returned to the facility 24 hours after she developed symptoms.

The 23-year-old was readmitted to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon at a time when Kenya confirmed its fourth coronavirus case.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, the government is following 85 of her contacts when she left the health facility.

“The patient who tested negative and later positive at Mbagathi, we are following other 85 contacts actively and will be updating,” he said.

The woman said that she started experiencing a sore throat, dry cough, running nose and a headache on Monday night.

“My test showed I was negative. But I started feeling symptoms of the normal flu last night. I decided to go back as advised by doctors,” she told Nation on the phone.

The woman claimed that since she was discharged from hospital, there was no follow-up on her condition by health officials.

She claims she returned to the hospital on her own volition using public means. There are, however, conflicting reports that she escaped from a surveillance ward.

Across the world, the virus has claimed more than 7,500, people with Europe being the new epicentre. Italy remains the worst hit due to high fatalities and positive cases.

The Kenyan incident mirrors what happened in South Korea with what has now come to be known as Patient 31.

Authorities in South Korea are rueing the missed chance they had in arresting the surge of cases coronavirus disease in their country when they let a suspected patient walk back to her community.

By Tuesday this week, South Korea’s Centres for Disease Control had reported 8,320 cases of Covid-19, 81 deaths and 1401 fully recovered patients.