Preventing Corona Virus in Kenya: The flight from China that landed yesterday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was the first among a series due for landing over the coming weeks. This has been confirmed by the Chinese Embassy in Kenya. “The Airlines will notify the Ministry of Health in advance and all passengers will have to undergo screening and clearance,” read the statement from the embassy.
“This comes despite the Kenyan government’s refusal to evacuate Kenyans stuck in China due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Chinese citizens continue arriving in droves unhindered. The Embassy released a statement on Wednesday confirming that the China Southern Airlines resumed flights from Guangzhou to Nairobi. The airline’s flights are now reduced to once a week until March 25, 2020,” says the statement. China also promised to bring in experts to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to assist in the screening process of passengers arriving from China.
While the landing of the Southern China Airlines flight in Nairobi stirred anger among Kenyans over what they see as the government’s lack of seriousness in taking precautions against the virus, some Kenyans have also come in defense, arguing that the total shut off of flights from China is unnecessary.
“It’s not like Chinese airlines are not flying into other countries, including into the United States & Canada, even as Coronavirus continue to spread. Authorities at ports of entries in these countries are, however, subjecting passengers arriving from China to proactive screening. Passengers who test negative are let go. I want to believe that Kenyan authorities followed this same protocol in their handling of the 289 passengers in the Southern China flight that landed at JKIA yesterday. Let’s keep our emotions in check when discussing this thing. If the virus had originated in, let’s say, Mosoriot, don’t tell us JKIA would’ve grounded all outgoing and incoming flights. No! Folks would still be able to fly into and out of the country,” argued James Wachai.
According to the Chinese Embassy, the Ministry of Health was notified in advance about the expected flight(s). The embassy also says that all passengers on board were screened, cleared and advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.