Flights From China Suspended by High Court

  • A Southern China plane lands in Guangzhou on June 3, 2013.
    A Southern China plane lands in Guangzhou on June 3, 2013.
    Daily Nation
  • UPDATE: 2:50

    High Court Judge James Makau has ordered for the immediate tracing and quarantine at a KDF facility of the 239 passengers who arrived aboard a China Southern Airlines flight on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

    In the ruling, the judge ordered Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to undertake the role, to protect Kenyans from any infections from the deadly virus.

    Justice Makau issued the order after two doctors filed a petition in court on Friday, February 28, seeking to have flights from China barred from entering the country in the wake of coronavirus fears.


    UPDATE: 1:57 p.m.

    The High Court has suspended all flights coming to Kenya from China over the coronavirus threat.

    First reported by K24 TV, Judge James Makau suspended the flights after a suit filed by the Law Society of Kenya on Friday, February 28, 2020.


    The Law Society of Kenya on Friday, February 28, filed a case against the government proposing the suspension of all flights from China to Kenya.

    First reported by Citizen TV, the LSK filed the case amid rising fears of Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

    The LSK noted that the world was already in a global health crisis because of the outbreak of the virus.

    A tourist is screened for Coronavirus at the Port of Mombasa on February 13, 2020
    A tourist is screened for Coronavirus at the Port of Mombasa on February 13, 2020
    Daily Nation

    “Pending the hearing and determination of the application a conservatory order be issued suspending the respondent’s decision to allow the China Southern Co. Airlines Ltd resumption of non-essential flights from China to Kenya,” read the papers.

    Former CS for Health Sicily Kariuki is mentioned by the suit together with China Southern Co. Airline LTD and Kenya Airports Authority among others.

    The lawyers' body further wants CS Kariuki to prepare and present a contingency plan to the court on prevention, surveillance, control and response systems to coronavirus in the country.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, LSK president-elect Nelson Havi indicated that the outgoing management at the society took the task under their own hands to protect Kenyans.

    2 doctors also sued the government seeking orders blocking entry by air, sea or land of all persons from China, other countries considered coronavirus hotspots.

    According to the Nation, the doctors cited the risk of the virus spread in the country as the main reason for the suit.

    On Wednesday, February 26, a video of a China Southern Airlines airplane landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) went viral causing outrage from Kenyans who questioned the government’s efforts in protecting its citizens from the fast-spreading virus.

    The plane carrying 239 passengers arrived in Nairobi from China after a short period of the temporary stoppage by the Kenyan government.

    In a statement, the Ministry of Health confirmed the resumption of China Southern flights to Kenya.

    The department further stated that all the 239 passengers aboard the plane had been given a green light to enter Kenya and were advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    The statement also indicated that the passengers had been thoroughly screened by health officials before alighting.

    Reports also indicated that officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport JKIA had attempted to block the passengers from alighting before receiving orders to allow them in.

    The Chinese embassy in Kenya also confirmed that China Southern Airlines had resumed flights from Guangzhou to Nairobi.

    Through a statement, the embassy noted that the flights would continue but had been reduced from four to one per week.

    The embassy also noted that they notified the Ministry of Health in advance of the screening of all the travellers and had provided additional officials to help in the screening for the virus.

    On Thursday, February 27, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo who appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations stated that there was no need to worry about the flights from China.

    Omamo also noted that guidelines by the World Health Organisation had been adhered to in clearing the passengers adding that the passengers were undertaking self-isolation for 14 days.

    Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo
    Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Lower Kabete in Kiambu For a Consultative Devolution meeting. Thursday, February 20, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
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