Kenya issues travel alert China over deadly coronavirus

People wear face masks as they line up at the checkout in a supermarket in Beijing, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, January 25, 2020. [Reuters]
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued an alert to Kenyans to avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan, Hubei Province in China until the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, an acute viral respiratory disease, is contained.

The Kenyan Embassy in China has also issued an alert for the 85 Kenyans living in Wuhan, asking them to comply with measures in place to avoid the deadly disease, which has so far killed over 80 people in China and infected over 1,975 others.

“Kenyans are urged to avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan until the situation there is contained. Those on essential travels must comply with additional screening measures that have been put in place by authorities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will keep updating on the situation of Kenyans living in the affected region,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry has since stated that the embassy of China in Nairobi is in communication with its capital and the Kenyan students in Wuhan under the Chinese government scholarship programme on the matter in order to ensure their safety.  

“Our embassy in China has issued an alert to Kenyans living in China and especially those residing in Wuhan, Hubei Province to take high precaution to protect themselves against the ailment. They are also urged to comply with measures put in place by the local authorities. The embassy is aware that there are 85 Kenyans in Wuhan who are registered with the embassy and is closely monitoring the situation,” the ministry said.

Currently, Chinese authorities have imposed a lockdown on Hubei region in a bid to contain the spread of the virus following the outbreak of the disease. The authorities in Hubei province have since announced the postponement of the opening of universities and colleges and suspended exams calendar indefinitely in an effort to curb movement and spread of the deadly virus.

Further notice

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The embassy also called on Kenyan students studying in Hubei to stay away from Wuhan city until further notice.

“The affected universities will notify students of new opening dates through a general circular in the press. Students should also keep checking with their respective institutions and the embassy on return dates,” the statement further read.

The embassy also denied allegations that they have failed to help Kenyan students in China.“Those who may exhibit symptoms of the virus have been advised to report to the nearest hospital,” reads the statement. [Caroline Chebet]

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Kenyan EmbassyWuhanHubei ProvinceCoronavirus