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We will not ban Chinese citizens to Kenya, says official

By Bernard Gitau
Friday, February 28th, 2020
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman.

The government will not stop Chinese nationals from coming entering Kenya over Coronavirus outbreak because it is  discriminatory, the government has said.

Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said it would not be fair to stop Chinese flights to Kenya just because the virus originates from there. 

 “Wuhan is the epicentre of the virus but not the whole of China. We cannot sideline them just because they are from China,” Aman said. 

On Wednesday, Kenyans expressed disappointment with the Government for allowing China Southern Airlines to the country. 

Aman said many travelers are coming in from other countries which might also have cases of infection.

“We should be careful not to label people in a certain way  and we should also be very careful to protect our people,” he said.

 He also said the decision on whether to ban flights from China will be made through consultation between the two  governments adding that Wuhan was in a locked down as an epicentre of the virus and that is why more than 100 Kenyan students have been unable to comeback home.  

Addressing the press in Nairobi yesterday, the official directed all passengers who arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport aboard Chinese flight  on Wednesday to remain indoors for 14 days. 

 Acting Director of Health Dr Patrick Amoth said the flight had 239 passengers: 198 Chinese, 13 Kenyans, 30 on transits and the crew.

 “Those passengers in the country should remain indoors for 14 days as a requirement of World Health Organisation (WHO) on self quarantine,” he said.

He said emergency operations centre and rapid response teams at national and county levels would monitor the self-quarantine.  Chinese embassy will also compliment the surveillance and monitoring of its nationals.

 Amoth said self-quarantine is the only way to prevent the spread of the virus.   The flight came from Guangzhou which is one of the  cities hardest hit.