CS Lifts Ban on Plane From Coronavirus-Hit Country [VIDEO]

  • Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE
  •  The government temporarily lifted the ban of one foreign plane to allow it to ferry its nationals back to their country. Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Friday, March 6, while speaking at the launch of a treatment and isolation camp at Mbagathi Hospital Nairobi, stated that an empty Italian plane will be allowed in the country to ferry the Italians home.

    "We want our visitors to be treated well as we ask everyone, not to panic," Kagwe stated as he issued 10 measures the government had undertaken to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus

    The government also banned International and Regional meetings involving foreign nationals, arguing that the only meetings to be allowed will be those purely involving Kenyans, such as Beyond Zero Campaign.

    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe inspects Coronavirus isolation facility at the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe inspects Coronavirus isolation facility at the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE

    It also banned the travel by Kenyan dignitaries to high-risk countries unless the purpose of the visit is highly crucial and necessary while advising Kenyans to stay away from conferences abroad especially to the high-risk countries like China.

    The CS further clarified that the camp at Mbagathi was not only an isolation camp but also a treatment camp as he detailed steps that were taken by the ministry after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, February 28, directed the CS to establish the centre within one week. 

    "The head of state formed an emergency committee to deal with coronavirus. This is not a Kenyan but global challenge, we are challenged but it is not something to lose hope about. There is so much wrong information and we had to clarify a few things. 

    "We have an emergency response unit going around everywhere that will respond immediately to any issue. We have also activated the emergency centre closely monitoring the evolution of the virus to enable us to follow up on the case," Kagwe stated.

    He went on to detail that the government had established screening in every entry point in Kenya, from airports to borders.

    "At all points of entry in this country, there is mandatory screening, we are using thermal scanners so at times you would not know that you were screened.

    "Nobody is going to come into Kenya without screening, whether at Busia, Namanga borders or at our airports. We are also working with East African Community doctors as we monitor the region," he stated, adding that they were also in contact with the World Health Organisation.

    The government was also sensitising and training personnel as they prepared to face any outbreak. The CS detailed that over 1100 Kenyans were deployed across Kenya, with a point of focus being JKIA  airport. 

    It had also secured sufficient procurement attire for health workers who are first in line in the fight against coronavirus. 

    The CS further indicated that all governors had been directed to establish isolation centres in their level four hospitals as the ministry also uplifted the Kenyatta University Referral Hospital in case of further emergencies. 

    Kagwe also stated that the Ministry of Transport will have a discussion with matatu Saccos and boda boda owners to create awareness on the safety of passengers.

    "Kenyans should vigilant as the risk is still high, as we continue taking precautionary measures. Keep basic hand and respiratory hygiene. We will be texting everyone on how individuals should handle themselves. Let us not panic.

    "However, I would like to caution anyone who forwards and shares fake and false messages. Remember that if you are caught, you will be jailed or would face a fine," Kagwe stated.

    The CS further urged Kenyans to desist from racially attacking Asian nationals but to treat them with respect and kindness. However, Kenyans stuck in China will not return home yet, as the CS played coy with the issue. 

    A health practitioner in protective gear at Coronavirus treatment and isolation facility in Mbagathi District Hospital, Nairobi on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A health practitioner in protective gear at Coronavirus treatment and isolation facility in Mbagathi District Hospital, Nairobi on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE