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Some 174 Kenyans who have been stuck in Saudi Arabia since March this year over the Coronavirus pandemic were Wednesday repatriated to Kenya.

The Kenyan Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia working with Saudi Airlines repatriated the Kenyans who had been stuck in the foreign country since March.

The embassy said the Kenyans left the port city of Jeddah at 7:45am aboard one of the flights.

“The Embassy, in conjunction with Saudi Airlines, successfully repatriated 174 Kenyans from Kingdom this morning. The Flight, SV431, departed at 7.45 am from the port city of Jeddah,” the statement said.

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They landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

In April, a Kenyan died of Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia and according to Kenyan ambassador to Saudi Arabia Peter Ogego, the victim had an underlying medical condition prior to the pandemic.

Mr Ogego had earlier sent a message to Kenyans in the middle eastern country telling them to abide by the measures put in place by authorities to combat the new virus.

He asked those willing to be repatriated to have a Covid-19 free certificate and that the test must not have exceeded seven days from the time of arrival. Ogego has been calling those willing to be repatriated to register with the embassy since June 30.

Since April, the embassy temporarily suspended its normal operations and consular services until further notice.

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The envoy said this was in line with the country’s elaborate efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to reduce any risk of infection to staff and clients.

During the period, members of staff of the embassy have been working virtually and are on duty call.

Embassies in Kenya have been working with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and other government agencies to facilitate the travel of their citizens back home. Dozens of foreigners have since been repatriated from Kenya.

International flights resume operations on August 1.

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