COVID-19: INFORMATION ON CONTACT TRACING & QUARANTINE PROCEDURES IN KENYA

This information is shared to provide an overview of the process of contact tracing and quarantine that may follow if one is identified as a contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case.

Who is a Close contact?

  • A Close contact is defined as:
  1. Working together in close proximity or sharing the same environment with a confirmed covid-19 case.
  2. Travelling together with a covid-19 case.
  3. Living in the same household with a covid-19 case.
  4. Health care associated exposure: including providing direct care or visiting a covid-19 patient or working with healthcare providers infected with covid-19 virus.

Purpose of Contact Tracing

  • Contact tracing is the Public health management process of identifying persons (including healthcare workers) who have had contact with individuals with probable or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
  • The objective of contact tracing is to identify potential secondary cases that may arise from a primary COVID-19 case. This intervention helps to avoid further onward transmission.
  • It is an essential way to fight the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the steps of Contact Tracing?

Step 1: A case is identified as a suspected, probable or confirmed case.

Step 2: Contact identification and Listing: From the confirmed or suspected case, contact tracing by surveillance officers. This involves locating any contacts that the primary COVID-19 patient had. Contacts are classified as having either high-risk exposure (‘close contact’) or low-risk exposure.

Step 3: Quarantine and Self-monitoring: High-risk exposure contacts or close contacts undergo supervised quarantine while persons in the low-risk category are encouraged to self-monitor. In the event that you are contacted by any government official in relation to contact tracing, please inform UNON JMS and DSS immediately.

 

Management of Quarantine

Here is what you can expect:

  1. The quarantine period is 14 days because the incubation period for COVID-19, is on average 5-6 days, however it can be up to 14 days.
  2. UN, with the agreement of the Kenyan government has identified Trademark hotel as a quarantine center for it staff members.
  3. While under quarantine, daily self-monitoring for COVID-19-compatible symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, or difficulty breathing) is required.
  4. JMS is providing a kit consisting of masks, gloves and a thermometer for daily morning and evening recordings.

 

Remember the following while in Quarantine:

  • It is for your good and family members wellbeing for you to ‘isolate’ for a short period of time
  • To reduce on anxiety that is expected, try the following:
    • Keep Connections alive with your family and friends through online or other platforms
    • Keep a daily routine/schedule
    • Look for ways to exercise
    • Continue working (where possible)
    • Set time aside to ‘connect’ with children or other significant people in your life
    • Reduce media consumption specially to do with COVID-19 and look for credible information

 

REACH OUT FOR PSYCHO-SOCIAL SUPPORT (CALL 0793-484-333/0728-961-939)

 

Testing of Covid-19 During the Quarantine Period

  • Around the 8th – 10th day during the quarantine, the Kenyan Ministry of Health collects samples for Covid-19 testing
  • It is important to note that the testing is conducted by the Ministry of health officials assigned to the hotel, with oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs collected

 

Pre-test counselling is highly recommended prior to testing (0793484333/ 0728961939). However, the psychosocial support is available during the entire period of quarantine

  • After the collection of the sample, it takes 24 hours to get the results (MOH is in-charge of the process however UNON JMS will assist in following up the results).

 

What Happens if one is negative?

  • They must complete the 14 days of quarantine.
  • The reason for completing 14 days is to safeguard others if you develop symptoms and turn positive for Covid-19 after the initial test
  • On completing the mandatory quarantine period, Ministry of Health team will provide a self-quarantine declaration form and a quarantine discharge summary to fill in and sign before clearance, to complete an addition seven (7) days of self-isolation at home.

 

What Happens if one is positive?

  • If there is confirmation that one is positive, they are transferred from the quarantine center to hospital.
  • Nairobi Hospital and Aga Khan University Hospital have been identified as isolation and treatment centers for UN personnel. Admission into these facilities would be arranged based on bed availability.
  • Transfer to the hospitals would be by ambulance.

 

Once there is a confirmed case, the issue of contact tracing starts again. Their close contacts are identified, and they are quarantined.

However, if you test positive, remember the following:

You did the best you could with the information you had. No need for guilt

Like any other illness, it is possible to recover from COVID-19

You are in a safe place; you are under the care of doctors.

Someone will keep in touch with your family members.

The focus is on recovery as opposed to other people’s attitude because you are a COVID-19 patient.

 

Nervousness, worry, and concern are normal upon confirmation that one is positive, but psychosocial support will be provided, and a counsellor will be assigned to walk with you.

 

For FAQs on Mandatory quarantine, please see this link as well as the discharge protocol from the Ministry of Health

 

Keep Safe and Healthy!

JMS 24/7 emergency call line: Tel: +254 724 255 378 OR Email: unon-jms-medicalevacuation@un.org  

Psychosocial Support Line:  Tel: + 254 0793-484-333/ 0728-961-939

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