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Kenyan student who returned from China has tested negative for coronavirus- CS Kariuki

The student held at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) after returning from China has tested negative for the deadly coronavirus, the Health ministry has said.

The student was quarantined at the hospital in Nairobi after returning from Wuhan, the epicentre of the SARS-like virus.

Outgoing Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki made the announcement Friday, saying the results were of tests carried out in South Africa.

“I can confirm that results on the suspected coronavirus case sent to South Africa for validation are negative,” Ms Kariuki said on social media.

She encouraged anyone who has recently travelled to China, and who has symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as fever, coughing, difficulty breathing and sneezing, to visit the nearest health facility for assessment and prompt management.

THE STUDENT

The unnamed student, in his early 20s, travelled via Kenya Airways flight KQ886.

He left Wuhan for Zhangjiajie City on January 20, travelled to Nairobi through Guangzhou in China and Bangkok in Thailand on January 27 and landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi on January 28.

He was rushed to hospital by the Ministry of Health at 9.30 am on the day of his arrival.

WHO POSITION

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has determined that the outbreak, which has left 213 dead and nearly 10,000 infected so far, constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

The WHO reached the resolution at its fourth Emergency Committee meeting on Thursday.

Under the WHO’s current regulations to manage such situations, the emphasis is on containing an outbreak at its source.

This requires countries to be transparent with information about the outbreak and be prepared to isolate those infected.