What to do if you are feeling ill

Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Updated daily. Last update: May 12th 2020

How to tell if you have symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Click here for the latest symptom advice from CDC.

If you are feeling confused about what to do and concerned that you may need to get to a hospital here are 2 free tools you can use to check your symptoms: 1. Coronavirus Checker  & 2. Symptom Checker

What to do if you have these symptoms:

  1. Self-isolate.
  2. Call Rescue.co, we will coordinate an evacuation if necessary, free of charge for our members, to a trusted and reliable hospital partner.
  3. Report the virus to the Ministry of Health through the toll-free line: 0800 721316.

How to self-isolate

To self-isolate, we recommend staying at home if you are able. Reduce your contact with others to as little contact as possible and use on-demand delivery services for your everyday needs. Please note that if you share a home with your family or others, you should stay in a separate room and use separate facilities if possible. And note that you must self-isolate for 14 days because of the virus’s long incubation period.

List of recommended on-demand services in Nairobi:

  • Uber Eats – order take-out from restaurants
  • Glovo – order food and groceries
  • Jumia – order food, groceries, supplies (antibacterial gel, masks, etc.)
  • Zucchini grocery – fresh fruits & veggies, cooked meals, groceries
  • Chandarana Foodplus – online groceries, and cleaning supplies
  • Goodlife Pharmacy – prescription drugs (with the right documentation) – +254 715 703000

Contact-less delivery: to reduce contact with delivery riders, we recommend communicating to the rider to leave the delivery at your doorstep or place it on the ground or another surface for you to collect without physical contact. Don’t forget that the virus lives on surfaces. It is advisable to remove the
outer packaging and wash your hands again before eating.

Check out this guide on self-isolation and social-distancing best practices.

Which facilities are testing?

There are a number of additional testing laboratories for coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kenya that have available COVID-19 testing kits. There has been a steady increase in testing capacity, and we expect additional private labs and hospitals to be added soon.

KEMRI (Nairobi, Kisumu, and Kilifi)

3 labs now testing in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Kilifi with the capability to test 360 persons per day. Depending on backlogs, it is taking between 5 hours to 48 hours to receive test results.

Contact info: +254 (0) 722 205901 (Nairobi), +254 (20) 22923 (Kisumu), and +254 730 162110 / + 254 730 162 000 / 709 983 000 (Kilifi)

Kenyatta National Hospital, National Influenza Center

National Influenza Center based at Kenyatta National Hospital in Upper Hill with the capability to test 300 persons per day. Depending on backlogs, it is taking between 5 hours to 48 hours to receive test results.

Contact info: +254 (0) 794 589824.

Aga Khan University Hospital (Nairobi) 

They are actively testing and all positive results are confirmed by the MOH.

Contact info: +254 (0) 709 931700

Nairobi Hospital (Nairobi):

They are actively testing at a cost of 10,000 KSH per test.

Contact info: +254 (0) 730 666 034 7

Lancet (Nairobi):

For patients that meet the case definition and have been referred by a physician, they are now carrying out tests. All samples are shipped to South Africa and processed in 3-6 days. The test costs 13,000 KSH.

There is a drive-through option for the testing which is offered at their main lab on 5th Avenue in Upper Hill, Parklands Branch at Park Place on the corner of Limuru Road / 2nd Parklands Avenue and Mombasa Main Branch in Biashara Building.

Contact info: +254 703 061 000, +254 700 692 956, and +254 743 575 844.

Genemetrics (Nairobi)

Pending approval from MOH, they will begin testing and have the available capacity and testing kits. The test costs 10,000 KSH and results are processed within 6-18 hours.

Contact info: +254 712 362 762

Please note. Test kits are limited in Kenya and if you believe you or a family member is showing symptoms of Coronavirus you should call these facilities and arrange a visit for testing. Most facilities are requiring that you have a physician’s order or you are transported in an ambulance instead of driving yourself to the facility, and you must meet the case definition to be tested.  

Some health facilities may be able to collect and send your samples to these testing facilities, but ONLY if they have laboratory facilities. Before visiting a hospital we recommend that you contact Rescue.co on our 24/7 hotline. We will advise the most appropriate hospital or testing facility based on the current availability of testing kits, beds, and quarantine facilities. 

Which facilities are providing treatment?

Most hospitals are preparing to respond and receive COVID19 positive patients. However, most are not yet ready and don’t have the required PPEs and space (i.e. isolation wards) to accept patients. This changes daily as hospitals are quickly moving elective surgeries, re-structuring the hospital, and shifting rooms and beds to prepare.

To get up-to-date information on this, reach out to our dispatch at rescue.co (+254 714 911 911). The facilities where patients are currently being treated for COVID19 include:


  • Aga Khan University Hospital
  • Nairobi Hospital
  • Karen Hospital
  • MP Shah
  • Avenue Hospital
  • Nairobi South
  • Modern Komarock
  • Ruaraka Uhai Neema
  • Meridian Equator Hospital
  • Gertrudes (pediatrics-only)
  • Kenyatta National Hospital
  • Mbagathi Hospital


  • Aga Khan University Hospital
  • Mombasa Hospital
  • Avenue Hospital
  • Coast General Hospital


Following an official statement by the Kenyan Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) on March 13th, local insurers are mandated to cover the cost of diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Anyone with international insurance should check with their insurer to clarify the coverage options in Kenya.

Air-evacuation by AMREF is not covered for COVID19. There are a number of other larger air evacuation companies that are evaluating case-by-case evacuations from Kenya. International SOS which is often included in international insurance products (like Bupa and Allianz) is providing air evacuation, but this is determined case by case. We are continuing to evaluate other options for air evacuation as well. Air evacuation may become an option if the health system is at capacity and does not have the ability to care and treat you if it’s a critical case.

Information on rescue.co coverage

As always, our members are fully covered for any emergency rescue transport. We are here to support you 24/7 and our ambulance partners are prepared to provide COVID-19 safe rescues with the right protective equipment.

If you don’t already have a member, you can register your family, friends, and office at rescue.co.