Covid-19 has killed 5 Kenyans in the US, ministry says
Five Kenyans have died of the coronavirus in the US in the last month while hundreds of others are stuck in various countries that have imposed lockdowns.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said on Tuesday that the five victims had underlying medical conditions that worsened their conditions, leading to their deaths.
Mr Kamau said an estimated 160 Kenyans who had travelled to India with their relatives to seek treatment are currently stuck in that country.
“A country that is of great concern to us, which we are looking at closely, is India. It is a concern since it’s on full lockdown so we were unable to facilitate travel,” he said.
“We have registered over 64 Kenyans caught up in the lockdown in India. About 120 had gone there as patients or accompanied patients. Some have died and maybe the families should consider letting them be buried there given the circumstances.”
He added that about 18 travellers are stranded in Australia and around 200 students in Iran as they have been unable to return home.
On China, PS Kamau said close to 3,000 Kenyans are there but that no deaths had been reported.
He also said those in Wuhan, where the first case of the virus was reported on December 31, 2019, chose to remain there after the lockdown.
China has come under on allegations of mistreating Kenyans and other Africans as it steps up measures to prevent more cases of the deadly Covid-19 disease.
The complaints include forced evictions and denial of service at some establishments.
The PS said, “We’ve tried to reach all Kenyans in the diaspora. Anytime anyone has been brought to me as having been affected or discriminated against, we’ve taken over the matter directly and all cases have been resolved.”
He added, “We also have 21 students stranded in Hungary and 61 training assistants stranded in France.”
Mr Kamau said people who do not get registered in foreign countries and only show up at the embassy when there’s a lockdown put the Kenyan embassy in a difficult position.
Kenya’s ambassador to China, Ms Sarah Serem, has been accused of not speaking out and taking actions to end the alleged discrimination in China and help the Kenyans stuck there.
On this, the Foreign Affairs ministry said Ms Serem cannot be faulted and that she has done a good job.
“It’s not fair to blame the ambassador and anybody in the mission. They should be asking for help from them, not apportioning blame,” he said.
He added, “We have engaged China bilaterally and regionally as East Africa, saying this is unacceptable. We have also engaged them as a continent through the African Union, saying we will not tolerate racism.”
The PS further said that there are two suspected deaths of Kenyans in Sweden.
He also reported a recovery in Rwanda and another in Qatar.