Coronavirus cases hit 31K as Kenya expands ‘safe flights’ list to 130


Coronavirus cases hit 31K as Kenya expands 'safe flights' list to 130
FILE PHOTO: A health worker sprays disinfectant to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

In Summary

  • Some of the countries included are Afghanistan, Barbados, the Cayman Islands and Russia.
  • However, neighboring Tanzania and Somalia have still been excluded.
  • Tanzania is yet to open up its airspace for Kenyan-based carriers despite of assurance that the impasse between the two countries had been resolved.

Kenya’s coronavirus caseload has risen to 31,015 on a day that saw the government announce that the ‘safe flights’ list has been expanded to 130 countries.

Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said 379 more people tested positive in the last 24 hours from a sample size of 3,867.

Also Read: WHO says coronavirus pandemic now driven by younger adults

“More and more cases are among young people, there is a laxity among young people in protecting themselves. A 28-year-old is among those who passed on. We are all duty bound to take care of each other but the duty is yours as a Kenyan,” she said.

Speaking during a Press briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Mwangangi noted that 19 more people succumbed to the disease raising the death toll to 506.

One person is said to have died at home while the other 18 had comorbidity: more than one disease or condition present at the time.

According to the Health CAS, Kenya’s coronavirus curve continues to pick even though there have been fewer numbers reported in the last few days.

She noted that testing will normalize starting next week when the ministry acquires reagents.

On contact tracing, Dr. Mwangangi said community transmission has been established making it difficult to trace contacts of those who contract the disease.

244 people were however discharged bringing the total number of recoveries in the country to 17,612, she added.

Meanwhile, the government has expanded the list of countries from which arrivals by air will not be subject to a 14-day quarantine to 130.

The Transport Ministry and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) approved the new list.

It features 111 additional countries from the initial 19 approved after resumption of international flights on August 1.

Some of the countries included are Afghanistan, Barbados, the Cayman Islands and Russia.

However, neighboring Tanzania and Somalia have still been excluded.

Tanzania is yet to open up its airspace for Kenyan-based carriers despite of assurance that the impasse between the two countries had been resolved.

The list further maintains restrictions for arrivals from California and Texas.

Passengers from the 130 approved countries will be required to present a PCR-based COVID-19 certificate and only be subject to a body temperature test.

The 130 countries are recognized as having mild or limited community transmissions or declining incidences of COVID-19.

Report by Tabitha Rotich and Kepha Muiruri

 

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