Expect More Flights From China - Embassy Confirms

  • File image of a fleet of China Southern Airlines planes
    File image of a fleet of China Southern Airlines planes
    File
    SKIFT.COM
  • The Chinese Embassy to Kenya has assured Kenyans of the country's commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus disease in Kenya a day after resumption of the Southern China Airlines flights to Nairobi on Wednesday, February 26.

    In a statement by the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, China indicated that the flights by the airline had been reduced from three to only one flight per week from Guangzhou to Nairobi until March 25, 2020.

    “The Airlines will notify the Ministry of Health in advance and all passengers will have to undergo screening and clearance," read the statement.

    Traditional Kenyan Masaai dancers welcome Chinese tourists disembarking from a China Southern Airlines plane at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya on Aug 5, 2015
    Traditional Kenyan Masaai dancers welcome Chinese tourists disembarking from a China Southern Airlines plane at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya on Aug 5, 2015
    File
    China Daily

    China also promised to bring in experts to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to assist in the screening process of passengers arriving from China.

    “The embassy will send officials to the airport for assistance, and before the arrival of the flight, the embassy reminded all Chinese companies and diaspora groups in Kenya of the 14-day self-quarantine requirements,” read the statement.

    China further indicated that it had issued strict instructions to the Chinese citizens visiting Kenya on how they would ensure they handle themselves especially in the period of self-quarantine.

    “Chinese nationals entering Kenya should cooperate with the Ministry of Health and strictly isolate themselves.

    “For those Chinese nationals in quarantine, we have provided their information to the Ministry of Health and requested the Chinese companies and diaspora groups to provide necessary volunteer service,” further read the statement.

    Airport Drama

    On reaching JKIA, the plane was reportedly almost made to turn back after officials at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) refused to clear passengers from Guangzhou as tension over coronavirus continued to rise.

    According to the Nation, the stalemate took some time but eventually, the passengers were allowed to alight.

    Other airliners originating from China were also reported to be allowed to land at JKIA weeks after national carrier Kenya Airways suspended its flights on the route over the risk of importing the virus.

    On Wednesday, February 26, The Ministry of Health confirmed the resumption of the airline’s flights 

    With the first plane to resume jetting in with 239 passengers at JKIA.

    In a statement, the Ministry advised the 239 passengers to quarantine themselves for a 14-day period.

    "China Southern Airlines resumed its flights to Nairobi today. All 239 passengers were screened on-board, cleared and advised to self-quarantine for the next 14 days," the statement read in part.

    A widely-circulated video of the plane landing had sparked angry reactions from a section of Kenyans who questioned the government's commitment to keeping citizens safe from the virus.

    China Southern Airlines normally operates three to four weekly flights between Nairobi and Guangzhou, China.

    Passengers pictured at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) following a disruption on March 6, 2019
    Passengers pictured at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) following a disruption on March 6, 2019
    Daily Nation