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Kenyans stuck in India to be evacuated at their own cost

By Chebet Birir | April 20th 2020 at 15:09:43 GMT +0300

The Kenya High Commission in New Delhi, India, has sent a notice to all Kenyans who had earlier sought to be evacuated from the country.

According to the notice, Kenyan citizens who wish to come back to the country will have to do so at their own cost.

In the notice dated April 20, the high commissioner to the republic of India, Willy Bett states that the government is working on logistics to arrange for a chattered flight for evacuation of Kenyans who want to return to the country.

“The flight expenses will be at their own cost. However, the identified airline needs to know the number of passengers in order to determine the cost and type of aircraft to operate,” the notice reads.

The stranded Kenyans are expected to send their names to the Kenya High Commission in New Delhi via WhatsApp or email by close of business tomorrow, April 21.

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The notice further states that the Kenyans who wish to come back home must have a valid Kenyan passport. They must also be Covid-19 free with a certificate to that effect and must be ready to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine period imposed by the Government upon arrival in Nairobi.

The Indian Government instituted a 21-day lockdown on March 25 that rendered many Kenyans stranded, most of them who had gone for treatment. The lock down was to end on April 14, but there are reports it may be extended to April 30.

Thomas Mwangi, one of the patients who had gone for treatment in India, has fully recovered from the disease he went to be treated for, but he has spent more than 21 days secluded in a tiny space. the rise of the coronavirus pandemic has made him a prisoner in a foreign land.

“I was done with the treatments and gearing up for my return when the lockdown measures were put in place to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Thomas says the money in his account is dwindling fast, and he might therefore be unable to pay for his flight back.

Willy Bett had earlier on said that there were no plans to repatriate anyone to reduce the risk of importing the virus into the country, but the cries of stranded Kenyans may have changed the Embassy’s decisions. Some of the stranded Kenyans had established social media groups to try and agitate for help.

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