Five suspected cases of the Covid-19 variant that has been ravaging India for about a month has been detected in Kenya.
This was announced by Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth, who said the suspected cases deadly Coronavirus variant had been detected on five recent travellers from India now in Kisumu.
Dr Amoth said medics were investigating the 5 people in the lakeside city for the double-mutant Indian variant of the virus.
He said out of 1,277 samples collected between March 2020 and April this year, around 396 were variants of interest, out of which 281 were the Indian variant based on genomic sequencing.
"It is just a matter of time before the Indian double-mutant is here," he warned.
The announcement comes days after the Kenya government banned all flights from India to ward off case of the Indian variant of the deadly virus landing in Kenya.
Kenya banned passenger flights from India on Thursday for a period of 14 days, but the directive was taking effect from Saturday as passengers from India were allowed to land for 72 hours.
Covid-19 patient in India. PHOTO/COURTESY
Those travelling to Kenya from the Asian country after the Saturday midnight deadline were required to take a mandatory Covid-19 test and observe a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
The quarantine, as directed by the government, was at the traveller’s cost at a facility chosen by the government and monitored by health officials in Kenya.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health on Wednesday confirmed 489 new Covid-19 infections from 4,426 samples tested in the past 24 hours bringing the total confirmed cases of the virus in Kenya to 161,393.