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A trader wears a protective face mask during the fumigation of City Market on March 24, 2020. KAA has denied reports that a German shipment with 6 million face masks on transit through Kenya disappeared at JKIA. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) has dismissed as rumours reports in a section of the media that over six million protective masks destined to Germany disappeared at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

In a statement on Tuesday evening, KAA said no such cargo had passed through JKIA in the last 14 days and no one has reported any missing cargo.

The agency has now termed the reports as fake news and told members of the public to ignore them.

“Our investigations have concluded that there was no cargo of this nature that has passed through JKIA neither has anyone reported a missing cargo,” KAA said in the statement.

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The statement further indicated that the KAA cargo section was operating normally, adding that the reports that six million FPP2 protective masks had disappeared are false.

“Our cargo section operates normally despite the fake reports appearing in sections of the media claiming that Germany military masks disappeared in the country,” said the statement.

Earlier, an official from German Embassy’s press section, speaking on condition of anonymity also dismissed reports as fake.

"I am not at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). I do not know who is behind it (the story) but you can call your press colleagues who have reported it," he told the Standard Digital.

According to earlier media reports, a German army shipment of six million face masks the coronavirus vanished in Kenya.

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The defence ministry in Berlin is reported to have said their cargo went missing at a Kenyan airport at the end of last week.

News weekly Der Spiegel had earlier reported that the It was not immediately clear why the shipment was transiting via the east African country, the spokeswoman said.

The German army's procurement office -- plagued in normal times by equipment shortages and breakdowns -- is providing the health ministry with logistical support during the coronavirus crisis.

Due to arrive in Europe's largest economy on March 20, the missing mask shipment was one of the first major deliveries needed to gird Germany's health system for its battle against the coronavirus, Spiegel reported.

That makes the loss "more than irritating" for the German health and government workers on the front line of the crisis, Spiegel wrote citing official sources.

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According to the Robert Koch Institute disease control authority, the country had 27,436 confirmed virus infections Tuesday -- an increase of almost 5,000 over the tally on Monday.

The defence ministry spokeswoman said the German government would not suffer a financial loss on the lost shipment as payment for the masks had been due on delivery.

The official added that Germany’s Ministry of Defense had, on Twitter, denied ordering the masks.

KAA Face masks coronavirus JKIA Coronavirus in Kenya
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