Transport CS James Macharia (right) has a word with Kenya Airways board chairman Michael Joseph at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on July 15. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kenya issues guidelines as it starts receiving international flights
Kenya on Thursday issued guidelines on handling of foreign visitors as it opens its airspace for international flights tomorrow.
Passengers from China, the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, are among those exempted from mandatory quarantine upon landing.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said passengers from countries with mild and limited transmission or with a declining incidence will be exempted from isolation.
Other passengers to be exempted from quarantine are from South Korea, Japan, Canada, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Namibia, Switzerland Uganda and Morocco.
However, passengers from Tanzania, whose President John Magufuli on June 6 said was coronavirus-free, will be placed in mandatory quarantine for 14 days before they are allowed to interact with the public.
Speaking at Afya House, Mr Macharia said all arriving passengers should have Covid-19-negative certificates and their body temperature should not exceed 37 degree Celsius.
The Covid-19 test for the negative result should have been done within the past 96 hours. He said those found to have been tested earlier will not be allowed to board any flight using the same Covid-19 certificate.
“All arriving passengers with a PCR-based Covid-19 negative result, whose temperature is not above 37 degrees celsius and do not have difficulty in breathing, repeated cough and have proved to have been tested within 96 hours before travel shall be exempted from quarantine,” he said.
Mr Macharia further indicated that passengers arriving during the curfew hours will be allowed to proceed to their hotels and those departing allowed to go to the airport to catch their flights.
“As long as the passengers can show their travel documents, including tickets and boarding passes, they should be allowed to continue with their journey,” Mr Macharia said.
The CS said the resumption of flights was necessitated by the declining economy, with the tourism and aviation sectors being the worst hit.
“The measures will have a huge positive impact in terms of tourism and opening up the economy. Nairobi being an investment hub, we will have investors travelling to Nairobi to do business. We expect to see a positive impact on the economy of our country,” he said.
Meanwhile, giving an update on the Covid-19 situation, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman asked men to re-evaluate their dietary habits and lifestyle to reduce their infection rate.
“Going by the statistics that we have been providing, more males than females have been infected by the virus in our country and globally,” he said.
“Probably, men need to look more into their diets and lifestyle by eating healthy food, including vegetables and fruits to boost their immunity and contribute to disease prevention and healing.”
The country on Thursday recorded 788 cases (475 males and 313 females) new cases from tests done on 5,521 samples. They brought the national caseload to 19, 913 from cumulative samples of 295,280.
Meanwhile, 100 patients were discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 8,125, while 14 died, raising the death toll to 235.
Of the new cases, 785 were Kenyans and three foreigners. The youngest was a year old and the oldest 89.
The cases were in 28 counties, with Nairobi leading with 487 cases, Kiambu 86, Nakuru 34, Kajiado 26, Mombasa 25, Machakos 21, Busia 20, Narok 14, Bomet nine with Kericho, Siaya and Kisumu recording eight cases each.
Garissa, Baringo and Uasin Gishu recorded four cases each, while Nyeri and Tharaka-Nithi had four cases each.
Murang’a and Nandi had three; Kilifi, Kirinyaga, Meru and Trans Nzoia two each; and Homa Bay, Kitui, Kwale, Lamu and Makueni a case each.
Nairobi’s 487 cases are distributed in Langata (58), Westlands (50), Dagoreti North (42), Embakasi East (39), Makadara (34), Embakasi South and Starehe (32), Embakasi West (30), Roysambu (29), Kasarani (28), Ruaraka, Kibra and Dagoreti South (19). Embakasi North had 18 while Embakasi Central and Kamukunji recorded 14 cases each.