Coronavirus — Kenya Restricts Airports to 11 Countries

  • As soon as the list was released, Kenyans quickly realized that Tanzania was not there.
  • The minister said the countries had managed to control the COVID-19 pandemic to the extent possible.
  • Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda, has joined the list of 683 staff members who by Friday had been infected with the coronavirus.

Hours before the start of international flights, the Kenyan government announced a new guideline on the move. Speaking in Nairobi while briefing on the transmission of the COVID-19 epidemic in Kenya, Transport Minister James Macharia said Kenyan airspace would not be open to everyone.

The COVID-19 pandemic reached Kenya in March 2020 with the initial cases reported in the capital city Nairobi and in the coastal area Mombasa county. As of August 1, there were 21,363 confirmed cases and 364 deaths from COVID-19.

The list clearly shows Tanzania as not one of the welcome countries in Kenya’s airspace. Macharia said only 11 foreign countries would be allowed to land in Kenya at its four international airports in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, and Kisumu.

The permitted countries are China, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, and Morocco. The minister said the two countries had managed to control the COVID-19 pandemic to the extent possible.

He said those countries had reduced the prevalence of the disease and its citizens had been experiencing common symptoms of respiratory system disease.

“Let it be clear that those who will have a certificate of tests done before the stipulated 96 hrs will not be allowed to board in the first place. On arrival the passengers’ temperature should not exceed 37.5 degrees and not display any Covid-19 related signs,” Macharia said.

“Let’s not compare ourselves and say some places don’t have the virus. Why do we have it, and they don’t? Let me remind Kenyans, we live in a democracy where there is media freedom. As a state, we don’t have the power to hide anything. Whatever happens, we tell you.”

As soon as the list was released, Kenyans quickly realized that Tanzania was not there. On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a statement that did not directly target Tanzania, that Kenya does not cover the number of people infected with COVID-19.

“There are others who have that power. But we are proud of the fact that we are a democracy and are able to tell each other the truth and face the reality instead of sweeping the truth under the carpet and have our citizens suffer quietly,” Uhuru said.

Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda Infected with Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Tanzania in March 2020. As of May 14, there have been 509 cases and 21 deaths. These figures have been heavily scrutinized, both domestically and internationally.

Acting Secretary-General of the Medical Association of Kenya (KMPDU), Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda, has joined the list of 683 staff members who by Friday had been infected with the coronavirus.

In a statement sent to the media, Dr. Mwachonda said he was infected with the virus at work. However, he gave the assurance that his condition was not serious and that he was isolated.

“My family is also safe and uninfected. The people I interacted with are still checked,” he said. Dr. Mwachonda said the disease was spreading rapidly in the community and every Kenyan was at risk but that should not be a source of fear or stigma against the victims or their families.

“The large number of COVID-19 patients being tested gives us hope that, as a nation, we will win the war against this invisible enemy,” he explained. Dr. Mwachonda called on Kenyans to adhere to health ministry regulations such as wearing masks, washing hands, not mixing, and not making unnecessary trips to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“To my fellow health workers I urge them to continue the work of serving the people with great caution as we are all at risk of infection,” he said.

The KMDU secretary-general once again called on the government to continue to provide protective equipment to health workers across the country for more benefits and to pay for their medical insurance. As of Friday, a total of 683 staff members had been infected with COVID-19 at work and eight others had died, including Dr. Doreen Adisa Lugaliki.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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