Progress as Kenya bans N95 face masks exports in preparedness for coronavirus

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In an effort to keep the country prepared for possible coronavirus cases, Kenya has moved to outlaw local manufacturers of respirator masks from exporting N95 and 3 ply surgical masks.

This is in response to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has currently infected close to 100,000 people in 58 countries. The disease has resulted in over 3,000 deaths with most of them in China.

According to a statement by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) CEO – Jonah Manjari, the government banned local manufacturers and distributors of face masks from exporting N95 and 3 ply surgical masks to ensure that the country is well stocked in case coronavirus hits Kenya.

In his statement, Dr. Manjari also mentioned that orders had been placed for other emergency response materials and drugs that Kenya would need to counter the epidemic.

This comes a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta issued an executive order appointing a committee to strategize and ensure that the country is ably prepared to deal with the outbreak.

There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kenya, but countries are on high alert due to the high rate of COVID-19 spreading and its sustainability in the community. According to the CDC, the complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death.