US issues travel alert against Kenya due to Covid-19

By Joel Muinde On Sun, 9 Aug, 2020 17:39 | 2 mins read
Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. PHOTO | AFP

The United States has issued a travel alert against Kenya due to Covid-19 despite the North American country being the world’s hardest hit by the virus.

The travel alert was issued on Thursday, August 6, warning American residents to exercise caution when travelling to Kenya due to the likelihood of contracting the virus.

“Reconsider travel to Kenya due to Covid-19. Exercise caution in Kenya due to crime, terrorism, health issues, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk,” said the US Department of State in the Level Three alert for reconsideration of travel issued by the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ironically, the US topped 5 million coronavirus cases on Sunday, meaning that the country has about a quarter of global cases of the virus.

The US also tops the list of with the most reported deaths in the world with 162,441 while Kenya has only recorded slightly over 25,000 cases and 420 deaths.

The alert cited Kenya’s lifting of stay at home orders and resumption of some transportation options and business operations, directives issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July.

The US directly urged its nationals not to travel to the Kenya-Somalia border and some coastal towns because of terrorism despite Kenya not having had a terror incident in the region in the recent past.

The alert also cautioned Americans against travelling to Turkana County, Nairobi’s Eastleigh, and Kibera areas because of crime and the likelihood of kidnapping.

“Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks. Emergency medical and fire service is also limited,” said the US government.

Further, the health and travel alert says that terrorist attacks have occurred in Kenya with little or no warning targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, hotels, resorts, markets, shopping malls and places of worship.

The alert comes at a time the hospitality and tourism sectors are registering upsurge of local and international guests amid the easing of local and international travel.

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