Kenya Airways resumes international flights, blacklists South Sudan

Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA, Photo| AFP

August 2, 2020 (Thessherald)–On Saturday, the government of Kenya released a new amended list of countries whose citizens will be exempt and allowed to travel to Kenya, with the exception of South Sudan, Tanzania and other countries at higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Kenya directed that International Air Travel would resume on 1st August, 2020 and instructed the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works to develop a Protocol to ensure the safety of travellers,” the Kenyan government announced on Saturday.

“The Ministry in consultation with relevant stakeholders prepared a Protocol for Air Travel Operations during the Covid-19 Public Health Crisis. The protocol seeks to provide guidelines to ensure that air travel remains safe during the pandemic for domestic and international flights.”

“The Protocol recognizes that the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been experienced in most sectors of the economy and the aviation industry is amongst the worst impacted.”

List of countries identified and announced yesterday from which travelers will be exempt from quarantine include:

South Korea

Additional countries identified [on Saturday] following further review and Consultation between the Cabinet Secretaries responsible for Transport, Health and Tourism:
The United States of America (except for California, Florida and Texas;
United Kingdom
United Arab Emirates

Kenya’s President lauds S. Sudan’s leaders for progress made in the implementation

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the Nation at Harambee House on Monday, July 6, 2020. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

July 15, 2020 (Thessherald)–Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has hailed the parties to the South Sudan peace process for the progress achieved during last five months despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by the country’s presidency Tuesday.

“I wish to note that in the last five months, we have witnessed a positive political momentum in the South Sudan peace process,” the statement quoted Kenyatta as saying in Nairobi during a virtual meeting of the 36th Assembly of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Heads of State and Government.

“Through significant compromises made by the parties, a number of important milestones and breakthroughs have been achieved,” he added.

Regarding the security situation in South Sudan, Kenyatta noted that “it was encouraging that the permanent cease-fire is holding,” said the statement. But he also expressed the need to providing security against communal violence.

“If the situation remains unchecked, these seasonal and perennial conflicts could have wider repercussions on the larger security environment,” Kenyatta noted.

The statement noted that the president appealed to South Sudanese leaders to pay efforts towards empowering institutions of governance in favor of sustainable peace and stability.

South Sudan’s rival leaders officially started the process of forming a transitional coalition government late February. The new structure was formed in accordance with a peace deal agreed in September 2018.

Under the deal, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has five vice presidents, with former opposition leader Machar as the first vice president.

The crisis caused by the political rivalry between Kiir and leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), currently First Vice President Riek Machar, began in 2013, plunging the country into civil war.

The conflict left nearly 400,000 people dead and four million others displaced and slashed crude oil production, leading to economic ruin.

It ended in 2018 with the signing of the peace agreement and formation of a unity government in 2020.

Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia confirm first COVID-19 cases today

(Thessherald)–Three east African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan – have confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic virus in 2019.

In Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute confirmed on Friday that a 48-year-old Japanese citizen who came from Burkina Faso had been tested positive and quarantined in a health facility to control the transmission of the virus.

“The person found positive is a 48 year old Japanese citizen who came to Ethiopia on March 4, 2020 from Burkina Faso,” confirmed the Ministry of Health.

“Ethiopia has put in place a disease surveillance program since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, and it has now identified the first positive case in the country. The patient is currently isolated at our facility.”

The Ethiopian government stated that the case is being addressed and that those who may have been in close contact with the patient are being tracked and quarantined when they are found as part of preventive measures against the transmission of the virus.

“He is undergoing medical follow up and is in a stable condition. Those who have been in contact with this person are being traced and quarantined. Since fear and panic are as dangerous as the disease itself, this first positive case in the country should not let us lower our guard but should propel us to redouble our effort to control the disease.”

In Kenya

On Friday, The Ministry of Health confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nairobi and was the first of its kind to be reported in Kenya since the outbreak in China in late 2019.

“The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on the 5th March 2020. She was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The patient is clinically stable, and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital,” the Ministry of Health explained in a statement obtained by The South Sudan Herald.

“The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, continues to strengthen measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease in Kenya. The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus preparedness and response will continue to provide strategic leadership working through whole Government approach to respond to this case in the implementation of mitigation measures. I wish to assure all Kenyans that we have been beefing up our preparedness capacities since the first confirmed cases in China. The Government will use all the available resources to respond to this case,” the statement added.

The Government traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya.

–In Sudan

The Sudanese Ministry of Health reported the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 of a man who died on Thursday after traveling to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, bringing the number of COVID-19 cases to 170 in African countries.

China’s statement on combating Covid-19 and its citizens quarantined in Kenya

Chinese and Kenyan embedded flags Photo: Chinese /Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya

Press statement,

February 27, 2020 (Thessherald)– 1. Briefing on COVID-19 cases in China According to China’s National Health Commission and the State Council inter-agency task force, the latest development of COVID-19 in China’s mainland is as follows: (1) Feb 26 saw 24 newly confirmed cases excluding Hubei Province.

(2) In Hubei Province, 409 newly confirmed cases were reported, and 2,288 more patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals.

(3) As of 24:00 on Feb 26 (Beijing Time), 78,497 confirmed cases have been reported, including 32,495 cured cases and 2,744 fatalities.

  1. Regarding some of the Concerns on China Southern Airlines passengers (1) According to clinical findings, most Covid-19 cases show symptoms of fever, so body temperature is a common indicator used in traveler health surveillance. (2) During the epidemic, passengers of the China Southern Airlines flight to Nairobi, before coming into Kenya, have to go through at least 5 times of screening, which happen before they enter the airport of departure, before they board the plane, during their travel, before getting off the plane and entering the boarder of Kenya. Same measures have been taken for the passengers arriving on Feb 26. (3) During the epidemic, China Southern Airlines collects passenger information including contacts and address, with which the Ministry of Health and the Embassy will be able to trace and check on the passengers.
  2. How are the Chinese nationals quarantined
  3. (1) 14-day self-quarantine is one of China’s epidemic prevention and control experiences and has been proved very effective in China. (2) The Embassy has repeatedly informed all Chinese companies and diaspora groups in Kenya of the 14-day self-quarantined requirement, and this has become commonly accepted among the Chinese community.

The Chinese companies and diaspora groups are mobilized to make arrangements for the self-isolation, supervise and assist those Chinese nationals in quarantine with daily necessities.

(3) The Embassy is keeping close watch on all the Chinese nationals coming into Kenya. For the Chinese passengers on the China Southern Airlines flight arriving on Feb 26, the Embassy has reached 52 of them who have been in quarantine upon arrival at their living places, and we will check the rest of the passengers tomorrow on Feb 28. Moreover, the Embassy has emphasized that random and unexpected visits will be made by the Ministry of Health and the Embassy and all of them should stay wherever they are for at least 14 days.

(4) The Embassy will continue to update the Ministry of Health every Monday and Thursday on the information of the quarantined and those released after 14 days.

(5)The Embassy appreciates the efforts of the Ministry of Health and will continue to work closely with the Ministry to prevent importation of COVID-19 into Kenya.