BREAKING: First Case of Coronavirus Declares in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
“We would like to inform you that we received today confirmation of a refugee COVID-19 case in Kakuma. The individual concerned is a 32-year-old Somali refugee.” Kahin announced.
“He has been in a designated quarantine center in Kakuma since 14 May, after he was intercepted at a checkpoint while travelling back to the camp in a private taxi, together with a female relative and a 1.5-year-old child.” Kahin continued.
Kahin said the COVID-19 patient claimed that he had traveled to Lodwar to seek medical attention for the child, however, after tracking his movements through his mobile phone, the Police suspects that he has recently been in Nairobi.
According to Kahin, the patient was quarantined for 10 days but for all those days he showed no symptoms.
“During the first 10 days in quarantine, where his temperature was taken daily, he showed no symptoms of COVID-19. On 22 May, a sample was taken for testing and came back positive.” The UNHCR Operations Manager announced.
“The tests of the other 21 refugees quarantined in the same facility, including his two relatives, were negative.” Kahin added.
Kahin further reiterates that the patient has been informed about the results and has been transferred to the isolation center in Ammusait General Hospital in Kakuma 4 to start treatment.
In other reports, the Turkana County Ministry of Health, AIC, KRCS and IRC have already initiated COVI-19 responses.
Kahin confirmed that the UNHCR has begun contact tracing and isolation of anyone who may have come into contact with the case. This process is being coordinated with the MoH team that is arriving tonight in Kakuma.
“We will extend the stay of the other occupants of the quarantine facility at the reception center for another 14 days. They will then be re-tested in accordance with the Government protocol.” Kahin continued.
“Risk communication and community engagement will be enhanced. PI lines are being developed (just in case)” the Operations Manager assures.
The Turkana County Ministry of Health has confirmed that they will send later today a team to Kakuma to assist with the response on the ground.
Kahin also clarified that the Kenyan Multi-Agency Taskforce for COVID-19 visited Dadaab and Kakuma this week and they were satisfied with there measures in place.
“Kindly also note that this week, the National Multi-Agency Taskforce for COVID-19 response visited Dadaab and Kakuma. The immediate feedback was that they were satisfied with the measures in place.” Kahin said.
As of March, 2020, Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement had a population of 196,050 registered refugees and asylum-seekers. More than 53% of these population are refugees from South Sudan alone.
The Kakuma refugee camp was established by the Lost Boys of Sudan in 1992 and it continued to operate within it normal capacity of 58, 000 people, however, due to the civil in South Sudan, the camp exceeded its capacity in 2014 leading to the establishment of the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement at a distance of about 20 kilometres away from Kakuma.