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Hawkers selling face masks pour onto the streets of Nairobi » Capital News

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14- Shortly after the news of a positive case of coronavirus in the country broke on Friday, Kenyans of entrepreneurial skills poured to the streets of Nairobi, selling all types of face masks.

They ranged from dust to surgical masks, and were sold at a varying price, with most using the tagline; prevent coronavirus and acquire a mask.

It was a similar case in chemists and supermarkets, where most run out sanitizers largely because of what has been described as panic buying.

“Nunua mask zuia corona (buy a mask and prevent corona),” went the hawkers.

According to the World Health Organisation, wearing a face mask is not a guarantee that one won’t get sick, but points out that it is effective at capturing droplets, which remains a main transmission route for the virus.

A spot check by Capital Newsbeat, however, reveals that most people in downtown are taking few or no precautionary measures- to the extent of eating roadside food.

“We have engaged with our suppliers and received firm commitments that we shall continue receiving the necessary supplies at the standard prices,” Tusker Mattresses Limited (TML)- Tuskys said in a statement.

The first confirmed case of the epidemic was of a Kenyan student who travelled in from the US on March 5, according to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

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The 27-year-old student had been in the US state of Ohio, which authorities said likely has more than 100,000 people carrying the virus.

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Symptoms of coronavirus

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.* [according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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.Fever
.Cough
.Shortness of breath

This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  .Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  .Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Clean your hands often
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

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Avoid close contact
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

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Seven more Coronavirus infections confirmed in the country – KBC

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has announced seven more cases of Coronavirus/Covid-19 cases bringing the number of infected persons to 38.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

The seven confirmed cases are from Nairobi County bringing the total number of positive cases in Nairobi to 28.

more to follow…

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Govt makes u-turn on mitumba clothes – Nairobi News

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Industrialisation CS Betty Maina has now denied claims that the government has suspended the importation of second-hand clothes popularly known as mitumba.

Ms Maina said that the government has not suspended the importation of mitumba, but it will be much more difficult for businessmen to import second-hand clothes into the country.

This, she said, is because of the caution that is being exercised by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you think just about the number of clothes that you are wearing that are imported, it’s astronomical and yet this is something that Kenya used to be able to produce. So there is opportunity to localise our apparel market, in our apparel supply both for us in Kenya and also for the region,” she said.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe is leading Kenya’s response to the pandemic.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives on Wednesday had tweeted that it has suspended the importation of mitumba in a move aimed at safeguarding the health of Kenyans.

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The World Health Organisation says coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets (from an infected person sneezing or coughing).

It adds that the virus may remain alive for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, including clothing.

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China virus epicentre eases travel restrictions after lockdown » Capital News

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A woman wearing protective gear as she boards a train stopping at Wuhan, which has opened stations again to incoming passengers © AFP / Hector RETAMAL

Wuhan, China, Mar 27 – The Chinese city of 11 million people that was Ground Zero for what became the global coronavirus pandemic partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of almost total isolation.

Wuhan was placed under lockdown in January with residents forbidden to leave, roadblocks ring-fencing the city’s outskirts and drastic restrictions on daily life.

But the major transport and industrial hub has now signalled the end of its long isolation, with state media showing the first officially sanctioned passenger train arriving back into the city just after midnight.

People are now allowed to enter but not leave, and many trains had been fully booked days in advance.

AFP saw crowds of passengers arriving at Wuhan station on Saturday, most wheeling suitcases alongside them.

Some had managed to slip back into the city a day earlier on rail services that were stopping in the city — but nominally banned passengers from disembarking — as enforcement of the travel ban began to ease.

Staff at Wuhan station clad in full protective gear with reception desks processed returnees who had been overseas © AFP / HECTOR RETAMAL

One woman who arrived on Friday said she and her daughter had been away from her husband for nearly 10 weeks.

“As the train neared Wuhan, my child and I were both very excited,” the 36-year-old told AFP on Saturday.

“It felt like the train was moving faster than before, and my daughter said the driver must know we really want to go home.

“She rushed toward her father, and watching them from behind I couldn’t help but cry,” she added.

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Staff at Wuhan station were all clad in full protective gear with reception desks lined up ready to process returnees who had been overseas.

China is now battling to control a wave of imported cases as infections soar abroad.

As passengers lined up to exit the station Saturday — some wearing two face masks, gloves, face screens or full protective suits — a worker in a hazmat suit shouted for anyone returning from overseas to come forward.

Passengers arrived back at Wuhan station Saturday, most wearing protective gear and wheeling suitcases © AFP / HECTOR RETAMAL

All arrivals in Wuhan have to show a green code on a mobile app to prove that they are healthy.

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Elsewhere in China long lines of travellers queued up at train stations to board high-speed services back to Wuhan.

Passengers in Shanghai had their temperatures checked by staff in goggles and masks after boarding their Saturday morning service.

Restrictions on residents heading out of Wuhan will not be lifted until April 8, when the airport will also reopen for domestic flights.

Wuhan is the last area of Hubei province to see overland travel restrictions lifted, although some highways leading into the city had already reopened this week.

Gao Xuesong, a worker in Wuhan’s auto industry, arrived in the city Friday night.

“It almost feels like returning to an alien land, because I haven’t been back for more than two months,” he told AFP.

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– Zero cases, not zero risk –

The new coronavirus was detected in December and has been linked to a market in the city that sold wild animals for human consumption.

People are now allowed to enter Wuhan by train, and many trains arriving Saturday had been fully booked days in advance  © AFP / Hector RETAMAL

Wuhan has paid a heavy price for the outbreak, with more than 50,000 people infected and more COVID-19 deaths than any other city in China.

There were three more deaths in the city on Saturday, health officials reported.

Wuhan initially struggled to contain the outbreak and AFP reporters saw long queues of sick patients at one overwhelmed city hospital in January.

But numbers have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Official figures show there have been fewer than 20 new cases across the province in the past fortnight.

Most of Wuhan’s subway network restarted on Saturday, while some shopping centres will open their doors next week.

Trains will begin arriving in Wuhan as travel restrictions on the Chinese city are eased © AFP / STR

Banks reopened earlier this week and bus services resumed but residents have been warned against unnecessary travel and those over 65 have been told to avoid public transport.

A study this week found the lockdown in Wuhan succeeded in stopping the fast-spreading virus in its tracks and gave health care facilities crucial breathing room — but warned against opening up the city too soon.

More than 2,500 people are still hospitalised with the disease in Wuhan, including nearly 900 “severe” cases.

Liu Dongru, of the Hubei Health Commission, said Friday that although parts of Wuhan had been reclassified as “low-risk” areas, work to control the virus needed to continue.

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“Zero reported cases does not equal zero risk,” he said.

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