Over 900 Kenyans caught up in India COVID-19 crisis


Over 900 Kenyans caught up in India COVID-19 crisis
Patients sit on bed waiting to be moved to a hospital, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 14, 2021. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Over 900 Kenyans caught up in India COVID-19 crisis as the second wave rages the Asian country. Concerned by the spike which has the country record highest global daily cases for the second day in row, Kenyan authorities have raised an alarm and urged all Kenyan nationals in India to register their details with the Kenya High Commission in New Delhi as the government initiates an audit to know their situation.

In a notice by the Kenyan High Commissioner Willy Bett, Kenyans currently living in India have also been advised to form WhatsApp groups and inform the embassy for ease of communication.

In New Delhi, India crematoriums are overwhelmed and with thousands dying, families have been forced to literally take matters into their own hands on the streets bonfires are seen as families pay their last respect.

So grim is the situation, that the country’s health system is crumbling, hospitals are full, patients forced to share bed and to make matters worse  hospitals are running out of oxygen, helpless patients seen waiting in their vehicles.

The COVID-19 situation in India is spiraling out of control and for the second day in a row, the country posted the highest daily infections with 332, 730 new cases and 2,263 deaths. A situation that has sent panic internationally.

The Kenyan government on Friday, through the High Commissioner to India Ambassador Willy Bett sounded an alarm to its citizens requiring them to contact the embassy and submit their names as they appear on the passport, the passport number, their contacts, their physically address in India and the purpose of the visit.

In the notice, Kenyans were advised to form WhatsApp groups and notify embassy officials to facilitate communication when the need arose.

With India being an attractive destination for education and health among those caught up in the crisis are estimated to be in thousands although Kenyan embassy has an official number of 900 Kenyans including those who are expatriates, students, tourists, businessmen and women and patients and their caregivers.

The COVID-19 ravage in the world’s most populated nation has also exerted pressure on international vaccine production plan. India suspended the export of COVID-19 vaccines including AstraZeneca as the race to vaccinate its citizens gained momentum.

The suspension of the exportation of the vaccines is likely to impact Kenya’s vaccination schedule and timelines, the government racing to secure vaccines for its population requiring the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, so far Ministry of Health statistics show that over 800,000 Kenyans have been vaccinated so far.

The ministry also revealed that the escalation of COVID-19 containment measures had bore fruit as the positivity rate that was at 20 percent had reduced to 16 percent in the last 30 days.

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