Kenyan health secretary warns that being black doesn't prevent coronavirus as country confirms first case

Kenya's Minister of Health Mutahi Kagwe busted the myth that black people can't get coronavirus as he announced that Kenya's first case from a 27-year-old African woman. (Picture: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenya’s health secretary has warned that being black is no protection against coronavirus as the country recorded its first case.

The patient has been confirmed as a 27-year-old woman who had travelled to Kenya from the United States via London.

Since she was diagnosed with Covid-19, officials have traced everyone the woman came into contact with.

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Health secretary Mutahi Kagwe used the announcement to quash rumours that people with black skin can’t get coronavirus.

Speaking at a news conference, he said: “There has been this misguided notion that if you have got black skin, you can’t get coronavirus.

“I would like to disabuse that notion. The lady is an African like you and I.”

The rumour isn’t the only myth to surround coronavirus, with others including the idea that eating garlic can protect you from the virus, or that hand dryers can kill the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now published a list of mythbusters on its website in order to counteract some of the claims going viral online.

Kagwe said the woman’s condition was stable and her temperature had gone down to normal but she cannot be released from medical care until she tests negative for the virus.

In a statement, the Kenyan government said it was strengthening measures to prevent further spread of the disease.

According to Johns Hopkins University, on Friday there were a total of 135,318 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with 4,981 deaths and 69,645 recovered cases.