Coronavirus: First Case Sparks Panic In Kenya

Kenyan health minister Mutahi Kagwe. Picture: REUTERS/NJERI MWANGI

The announcement that Kenya has its first case of coronavirus did not surprise many – the authorities here had already warned that it was a matter of when, not if, the virus will hit the country.

The immediate reaction also followed a predictable script; panic buying with some supermarkets in the capital having unusually long queues.

Shoppers filled their trolleys, with hand sanitiser and a five-litre jerrycan of methylated spirit being favourites.

Ambulances have also been spotted rushing to Ongata-Rongai – the suburb where Kenya’s first case lives.

The government said it was the emergency response team doing its work, but some locals in the neighbourhood are alarmed.

Messages about how to stop infection have been widely shared but there is concern a significant number of people may not adhere to the measures.

As one person put it to me this morning: “How will I even know I have the symptoms of coronavirus? They say coughing and a fever; I already have a cough and a fever! So is it coronavirus?”

Source: BBC

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