On Tuesday, media reported that a Kenyan student who flew in from China has Coronavirus-like symptoms.
The government immediately took the student to Kenyatta National Hospital and the student was isolated. Kenyans were promised that the results will be out by Wednesday evening, however, come Thursday evening, we were told that the results were being waited for from South Africa as no lab in Kenya could test such.
Kenyans were on edge, at least by their sentiments online. Many had lost hope in the government and were ‘waiting to die’, in case the virus comes to these shores.
my question is if the guy happens to have the virus are the other people he travelled with isolated cause if they were not then we are doomed
— born tao (@jokermchokozi) January 28, 2020
Why not issue travel advisory to China bana? Ban all flights to China
— Mwawasi (@_Mwakisaghu) January 28, 2020
No wonder, come Friday morning, when the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) announced that the samples taken from the student tested negative for the virus, Kenyans rejoiced.
The other good news is that the loss-making Kenya AIrways also banned some flights to China.
By Friday morning, reports indicated that 213 people had been killed by coronavirus in China, leading to a declaration of a global public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Several countries, including the UK and the US have halted flights to and from China, with Italy declaring it has blocked its airspace to China after confirming two cases late Thursday.
On Friday, the Chinese government announced it was sending charter planes to bring citizens from virus-hit Hubei province who are overseas back “as soon as possible”.
The foreign ministry said the move is in view of “practical difficulties that Hubei citizens, especially those from Wuhan, have faced overseas”, said ministry of foreign affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
China has also advised its citizens to postpone trips abroad and cancelled overseas group tours, while several countries including Germany, Britain and the US have urged their citizens to avoid travel to China.
When asked about the suspension of flights at a press conference on Thursday, Zhu Tao of China’s Civil Aviation Administration said authorities were coordinating arrangements to bring travelers home.
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