China to continue weekly flights to Nairobi

By Joel Muinde On Thu, 27 Feb, 2020 08:13 | 2 mins read
JKIA
JKIA. PHOTO | FILE

The Chinese Embassy in Kenya has confirmed that China Southern Airlines has resumed flights from Guangzhou to Nairobi.

In a statement shared on Twitter, the Embassy said China Southern Airlines has reduced its Nairobi flights to once a week until March 5, 2020.

“The airline has notified the Ministry of Health in advance and all the passengers have been screened and cleared. The Embassy has also sent officials to the airport for assistance, and before the arrival of the flight the Embassy reminded all Chinese companies and diaspora groups in Kenya again of the 14-day self-quarantine requirements,” said the Embassy.

The statement comes amid concerns from Kenyans that local authorities are playing fast and loose with the deadly coronavirus whose epicenter is Wuhan, China.

On Wednesday, following the arrival of the China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou, drama ensued at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as Kenyan officials refused to clear the Chinese passengers over coronavirus fears.

Flight CZ 6043 landed at the JKIA on Wednesday at 7.29 am to a hostile reception with sources revealing that medical officials refused to screen the 239 passengers.

The passengers remained stuck in the plane for almost an hour and only disembarked following the intervention of senior government officials.

The Chinese Embassy tried to allay fears that its nationals will pose danger to Kenyans reiterating that the 14-day quarantine is one of China’s coronavirus epidemic prevention and control methods.

The Embassy said it had provided the list of all its nationals in quarantine to the Ministry of Health for monitoring”The Embassy wishes to assure our Kenyan brothers and sisters that our Embassy will do our utmost to work together with the Kenyan government to prevent importation of the COVID-19 into Kenya,” said the China Embassy.

The Health ministry has also advised Kenyans against non-essential travel to countries experiencing the coronavirus outbreak.

Some of the measures other countries have taken to ward off coronavirus advance are issuing travel advisories to their citizens and halting flights to China.

At least 20 airlines have cancelled flights from mainland China, including United Airlines, Qatar Airways, Delta Air Lines, KLM and British Airways.

Covid-19 spread

Covid-19 has appeared in more countries around the world, with Italy, Iran, South Korea, Egypt and Algeria confirming the disease.

China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on February 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 on the previous day.

The total number of confirmed cases on mainland China has now reached 78,497, the health authority said.

A total of 2,744 people have now died as a result fo the coronavirus disease that first emerged from Wuhan city in China towards the end of 2019.

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