‘Kenyans in China are safe from coronavirus, no need for evacuation,’ Envoy Serem says
Ambassador Sarah Serem has said there is no need to evacuate Kenyans in China as they are safe from the coronavirus.
Speaking to Citizen TV on Wednesday, the Kenyan envoy expressed confidence that the Chinese Government is handling the situation.
“I would not advise trying to extract Kenyans in Wuhan until we are sure they are safe from the virus, let us be patient for a resolution, Kenyans are safe and no one has been reported to be infected with the virus,” she said.
Ms. Serem also stated that she would be cancelling her annual leave to handle any matter that may arise as a result of the pandemic.
Her statement comes on the backdrop of American citizens being evacuated from China.
According to CNN, a flight carrying about 210 Americans arrived in the United States after leaving the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The passengers include US diplomats and their families.
The State Department had said American citizens could also board on a reimbursable basis if space was available.
While there are about 1,000 Americans living in Wuhan, priority was given to US citizens who are “most at risk for contracting coronavirus” if they stay in the city, the State Department said.
It said it was unable to accommodate everyone due to space limitations, but it’s working to identify alternative routes for US citizens to depart Wuhan by land.
The State Department issued a Level 4 advisory for Wuhan, meaning Americans should not travel to the city while the virus has an impact, Vice President Mike Pence said.
It also ordered personnel working at the US Consulate in Wuhan to depart for the United States.
Other countries including South Korea and Japan are also sending charters to evacuate citizens from the epicenter of the outbreak.
The European Commission said it was sending two aircraft to evacuate European Union citizens out of Wuhan.
Meanwhile, in the most drastic action yet by a major airline as the deadly coronavirus spreads, British Airways has suspended flights between the United Kingdom and China.
The UK’s Foreign Office warned people against traveling to mainland China in all but essential cases.
On Tuesday, a Kenyan student who returned from China was quarantined at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
A statement from Kenya Airways confirmed that the Kenyan passenger had travelled to Nairobi from Guangzhou on Tuesday.
“Decision to quarantine the passenger was reached by the Kenya Government port health authorities stationed at JKIA,” the statement said.
Outgoing Health CS Sicily Kariuki later told a press conference that the patient was in stable condition.
“The suspected case remains in the isolation facility at KNH while investigations and laboratory tests are undertaken. So far, this is the only case,” she said.
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