Kenya has suspended passenger flights from India to Kenya for the next 14 days, Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe has announced.
The decision was in response to demands from the public that the East African nation take action on the coronavirus.
According to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) held a crisis meeting and decided that because of the catastrophic situation in India and surging COVID-19 infections, measures had to be taken to curb the spread of the virus.
The suspension is to take effect from midnight this coming Saturday, May 1st, 2021. However, Cargo planes will remain in service.
Those arriving in the country in the next 72 hours from India shall undertake mandatory testing. Those found positive for Covid-19 shall be isolated for 14 days at their own cost.
Kagwe however said cargo flights will continue upon adherence to the Coronavirus containment measures.
Social media platforms were swamped with messages on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 that insisted the health ministry act following reports that a passenger plane had left India and was headed for the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
India is one of Kenya’s most lucrative destinations, especially as a medical tourist destination, serving Kenyans who are seeking treatment and those importing special medications.
Meanwhile, Indians struggled to register online for a mass vaccination drive set to begin next month as the country’s toll from the coronavirus surged past 200,000 on Wednesday, worsened by shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.
The second wave of infections has seen at least 300,000 people test positive each day for the past week, overwhelming health facilities and crematoriums and fuelling an increasingly urgent response from allies overseas sending equipment.
The last 24 hours brought 360,960 new cases for the world’s largest single-day total, taking India’s tally of infections to nearly 18 million. It was also the deadliest day so far, with 3,293 fatalities carrying the toll to 201,187.