Coronavirus: Kenya and Uganda Close Borders, Ban Flights

  • On Sunday, Kenya reported eight new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 15.
  • Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has issued a similar order barring all passenger flights.
  • Tanzania closed schools and banned public gatherings, but left is borders open.

The Kenyan government has issued a directive disallowing all passenger flights. This is in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. According to a statement, issued by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Sunday, the rule will come into effect on Wednesday. Cargo aircraft will, however, be allowed, and all crew-members are expected to adhere to strict precautionary guidelines.

The following is an excerpt from his statement:

“Countries wishing to evacuate their nationals must make their arrangements to do so within this period.

Kenyans who are currently in foreign countries and will not have come back within the period are advised to observe the guidelines issued in the respective countries wherever they are.”

Uhuru Kenyatta is a Kenyan politician, businessman, and the fourth and current President of the Republic of Kenya. He served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Gatundu South from 2002 to 2013. Currently, he is a member and the party leader of the Jubilee Party of Kenya.

The development comes in the wake of a new wave of coronavirus cases. On Sunday, the Health Ministry reported eight new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 15. Most are imported cases from coronavirus infection hotspots in Europe. The government has declared that those arriving between Monday and Wednesday will be put under mandatory quarantine. They will also be expected to cover all expenses related to the process.

The government has taken a tough stance after County Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi ignored an order to self-quarantine after arriving from Germany last week. The government official reportedly held numerous meetings soon after the trip. He is currently in isolation at the Mombasa Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, and is set to be arraigned in court after the 14-day quarantine period.

All Kenyan citizens and non-citizens arriving from Covid-19 hotspots have, in the past month, been required by law to adhere to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine directive. A failure to follow this rule would lead to prosecution.

John Joseph Pombe Magufuli is a Tanzanian politician and the President of Tanzania, in office since 2015. He is also the chairman of the Southern African Development Community. Running as the candidate of the ruling party in Tanzania (CCM), he won the October 2015 presidential election and was sworn in on 5 November 2015.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has issued a similar order barring all passenger flights. The president has additionally decreed he immediate closure of all borders. Cargo vehicles and planes are, however, allowed. “No person, Ugandan or otherwise, will be allowed to enter Uganda by water or land except for those drivers and accompanying crews-not exceeding three for cargo transport vehicles such as trailers, lorries and other cargo vehicles.”

The abrupt pronouncement has taken many travelers by surprise. The announcement has led to a crisis at the Kenya–Uganda border. The two countries are members of the East Africa Community, and their economies are heavily intertwined. It seems that there were no extensive preliminary talks between the two nations about the border closures.

The flummoxing situation has led to citizens from both sides being stranded at the border. Tanzania, the other member of the EAC, has one confirmed coronavirus case. The government has announced the closure of all learning institutions and banned public gatherings. Its borders, however, remain open.

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Samuel Gush. W

Samuel Waweru is a Technology, Entertainment, and Political News writer at Communal News.

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