EVACUATION

Chinese nationals not fleeing Kenya – Kagwe

Says Kenya has done such evacuations for its citizens in foreign countries.

In Summary

• The government has clarified that Chinese nationals are not running away from the country amid increasing numbers of Coronavirus.

• Heath CS Mutahi Kagwe said such evacuations are similar to the ones Kenya had done to its citizens in other countries.

China Southern Airline
China Southern Airline
Image: COURTESY

The government has clarified that Chinese nationals are not fleeing from the country amid increasing numbers of Coronavirus.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Friday said the Chinese nationals who left the country ahead of Sunday’s resumption of International travel had made a prior arrangement for evacuations through approved channels.

He said such evacuations are similar to the ones Kenya had done to its citizens in other countries.

 

On Friday morning it was reported that hundreds of Chinese nationals queued at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport waiting to fly out of the country.

Most of them were children and women.

But Kagwe said, “There are very many Chinese nationals in the country and their travel is not a concern for now. We have had so many Kenyans who have left other countries in the same way so it should not really look like something else”.

Kagwe further dismissed claims that the Chinese government had opted to evacuate its nationals over concerns that Kenya might not be safe as cases of the disease continue to rise.

“There is nothing they know that we do not know, they are only traveling like everybody else,” he said.

In June, Kenya refuted claims that some 200 Chinese nationals had left the country in the night.

Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government said there is no passenger plane that is landing in Kenyan airspace and thus such reports can only be "fabricated and an imagination".

 

The Daily Nation had run a story indicating that the Chinese government was set to evacuate 400 of its nationals from Kenya over fears of Covid-19.

According to the story, the evacuees had procured their tickets but because of the social-distancing rule, all could not fit in the China Southern Airlines plane.

But Director of Communications at the Ministry Jane Kariuki termed the reports baseless.

"In fact, as I speak to you, we are demanding an apology from that newspaper. How can they publish a story full of lies," Kariuki said on the phone. 

Kariuki argued that if there is any evacuation plan for Chinese nationals, it would be done through the embassy in line with the laid down Covid-19 protocols.