Five cases of Indian Covid 19 variant confirmed in Kenya

Five cases of the Indian coronavirus variant have been picked in the country, the Ministry of Health has confirmed

The five are Indian nationals working on a fertiliser plant in Kisumu.

Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth says the five cases were picked up on Thursday last week on arrival in the country before the ban on flights from India was imposed.

The area has been reinforced in collaboration with public health officials in Kisumu County to ensure the variant does not spread.

“This variant has been picked in Kenya and because of connectivity, it was just a matter of time. You cannot be able to put barriers to prevent a virus from accessing your territory. We picked this from a sample of Indian travellers who are doing some work in the western part of Kisumu. We have gone ahead together with the Kisumu county health team to do contact tracing.” Amoth said.

The results of the genome sequencing that is ongoing at the Kemri Walter Reed in Kisumu are expected in a week.

Dr Amoth has noted that the five were staying in a camp, making it easier to do conduct tracing.

The B.1.617 variant has been blamed for India’s second wave of infections that has seen the country’s cases surge to more than 20 million.

The variant has been classified by the World Health Organisation as a variant of interest.

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