This evening, Kenya confirmed eight more cases of coronavirus bringing the total to 15.
In yet another press briefing, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the patients, who comprise five Kenyans, two French nationals and a Mexican, have been isolated, as efforts to trace the 363 passengers who came in contact with them begin.
Although current cases are recorded at under 10, the situation could quickly become a full blown catastrophe if the people and the government do not buckle down and take drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus.
Those on the ground will openly admit that only fraction of the internationally published prevention measures have come into effect.
Public transport continues unchecked, bars and restaurants continue to operate. Although schools have been shut and workers urged to operate from home, little enforcement means social distancing is a far-off concept.
Because of this, critics say that the government is not fully committed to stopping the spread of the virus.
When Mutahi Kagwe announced the country’s first Coronavirus case last week, reports of members of the public shopping for sanitizers and basic household supplies started doing rounds online.
With a warning to refrain from random handshakes, maintain proper hygiene and self-quarantine, Kenyans flocked retail outlets, some which registered empty shelves.
As expected, some greedy individuals took chance of this “opportunity” to sell fake hand sanitizers to the unsuspecting citizens.
Through social media, a Kenyan by the name Njagi M’Mwenda offered to give netizens a free tip to establish the authenticity of hand sanitizers in the market which might greatly help distinguish the genuine from the fakes.
Came home to find my mum had been duped into buying some fake hand sanitiser. As you might know, and as the WHO recommends, effective hand sanitiser should have over 70% alcohol. Here's how to know you have the real deal pic.twitter.com/RToZhTWyMp
— Njagî 🦓 M'Mwenda 🖤 (@_Njagi_) March 22, 2020
On Thursday, officials from the Kenya Bureau of Standards have seized seven brands of uncertified sanitizers in Nairobi which didn’t have the standardization mark (SM) .
KEBS has raised an alarm on the influx of fake hand sanitizers and masks in the market.
According to the bureau’s Chief Manager of Inspections, Ahmed Antar Amid, fake hand sanitizers and masks are being sold informally, either on the streets, online channels and even in supermarkets.
He added that all products that have been certified usually have a permit number which is below the Standardization logo.
Therefore, to verify if the hand sanitizers and masks that you are using is fake or genuine, you are required to send the permit number to 20023 and get an SMS response on the validity status of the product.
If you discover that the permit number is invalid KEBS says that you should report the case on their toll-free line of 1545.
For any hand sanitizer product to be certified by KEBS, it has to meet the following minimum requirements:
- Ethanol content of 60 percent by volume
- a pH of between 6-8 and,
- Microbial efficacy of 99.9 percent
Three days ago, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua announced the government would start the manufacture of alcohol-based sanitizers to be distributed for free to Kenyans as a measure to control the coronavirus pandemic.