Roundup: Kenya's COVID-19 cases near 20,000 as air travel set to resume

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NAIROBI, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's total number of COVID-19 cases neared 20,000 on Thursday after 788 people tested positive to the virus from 5,521 samples in the last 24 hours, ministry of health official said.

Rashid Aman, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health, told journalists in Nairobi that the country's total number of infections was 19,913.

Aman said that during the period 100 patients - eight from home-based care programs and 92 from various hospitals in the country, were discharged from various hospitals in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 8,121.

He said 14 patients succumbed to the disease, bringing the total number of fatalities to 325.

Aman urged Kenyans to embrace consumption of a diversified diet because no single food contains all the nutrients needed by the body.

"Going by the statistics that we have been providing, more males than females have been infected with COVID-19 in our country. Probably men, may need to re-evaluate their dietary habits and lifestyles - by consuming healthy diets including vegetables and fruits," he added.

Kenya announced the resumption of international flights from Saturday.

James Macharia, Transport Cabinet Secretary said agreed protocol dictates that passengers who will arrive with a PCR-based COVID-19 negative certificate and body temperature not exceeding 37.5 degrees Celsius will be exempt from quarantine.

"They should not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing or other flu-like symptoms and must have been tested 96 hours before travel," he added.

The east African nation PCR tests directly detect the presence of an antigen, rather than the presence of the body's immune response, or antibodies.

He noted that there is an initial list of countries from which passengers will be allowed entry into Kenya.

Macharia said the list will be reviewed on an ongoing basis depending on the circumstances on the ground and after a comprehensive global mapping of the intensity of the disease.

According to Macharia, passengers arriving after curfew hours as well as their drivers, shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels but must have a valid passport and boarding pass.

"For those departing after the curfew hours, they must have a valid boarding pass before they are allowed," he said.

Macharia said airlines will also be required to provide guidance materials to passengers regarding application of the preventive measures on board their aircrafts.

"As we head towards the resumption of the international flights we have developed these protocols to ensure the safety of travelers," Macharia said. Enditem

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