• All 17 are Kenyans; 12 are from Mombasa, while five were from Nairobi.
Kenya has reported 17 new coronavirus cases, increasing the country's total to 320, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi has said.
All 17 are Kenyans; 12 are from Mombasa, while five were from Nairobi.
A total of 15 of them were picked from surveillance teams, while two were from quarantine centres.
"Indeed local transmission has been established," Mwangangi said on Thursday.
Of the new cases, nine are male and eight are females.
Another six patients have recovered, bringing the total to 89.
A total of 668 samples were tested in 24 hours.
Nairobi still has the highest burden.
"We're glad Kenyans are taking handwashing measures seriously," Mwangangi said.
She lauded local innovators for creating useful tools to fight the coronavirus.
The CAS said there is a worrying trend of Kenyans depending on hand sanitizers instead of using water and soap.
Mwangangi urged individuals providing essential goods and services to adhere to containment measures because they are at high risk.
The CAS said quarantine facilities should not be looked at as prisons.
"Being quarantined is neither detention nor a punishment. Quarantine is meant to serve the greater public good, which is public health. We must, therefore, stop stigmatizing those sent to quarantine facilities and even those who have recovered from the disease" she said.
She said different stakeholders are being engaged to help find a way to assist those unable to pay the bills needed to secure their release from quarantine facilities.
MoH acting director-general Patrick Amoth said the ministry is trying to fast track the process of testing individuals brought into quarantine centres after being caught outdoors after curfew hours.
He said after being tested, they will be released and allowed to go home to self-quarantine.
Amoth also said the ministry is trying to improve the conditions at quarantine facilities.
Meanwhile, a locally made handwashing device was unveiled.