Kenya: Country Reports First Coronavirus-Related Death

A ministry of health official fumigates a Nairobi street as part of measures to combat coronavirus (file photo).

Kenya reported its first coronavirus-related death on Thursday evening, Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said in a statement.

The patient was a 66 year old male Kenyan citizen who arrived back in the country from South Africa via Eswatini on March 13, 2020.

"We have received the sad news of the death of first patient who had tested positive for coronavirus," Mr Kagwe said in a statement released Thursday evening.

The man had been admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

He was suffering from diabetes.

The deadly, which was first reported in China, has spread across the globe and infected about 480,000 people. Over 100,000 people have recovered and as at Thursday, 22,150 had succumbed to the deadly virus.

Research shows coronavirus is particularly dangerous to older adults and people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart and lung diseases.

The first published piece of research into the coronavirus (Covid-19) involved a small amount of people and it showed that 19 percent of those who died in hospital after developing the condition also had diabetes.

The Chinese study was carried out at two hospitals in Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - and only involved 191 people, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died.

Further analysis showed that 48 percent of those people had presence of one or more additional conditions, with hypertension being the most common health complaint (30 percent), followed by diabetes (19 percent) and then coronary heart disease (8 percent).

Kenya has confirmed three new cases of coronavirus raising the total number of patients to 31, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi announced Thursday.

Ms Mwangangi also announced that the government is expanding testing centres to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) centres in Kisumu and Kilifi among others.

Five counties have been marked as hot spots for the deadly COVID-19 virus after three more cases were confirmed bringing the total tally to 31.

The five counties are Nairobi, Mombasa, Kajiado, Kilifi and Kwale.

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