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Why Kenya removed Tanzania from quarantine list

165 people recovered from the virus, 60 from home-based care and 105 from hospitals.

In Summary

• Last month, Tanzania banned Kenya Airways from flying into the country, deepening the row between the two countries. Dodoma lifted the ban on Tuesday.

• Namwamba said Kenya’s foreign policy is about constructive engagement, shared prosperity and being there for one another.

Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi gives the daily Covid-19 briefing at Afya House on September 14, 2020
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi gives the daily Covid-19 briefing at Afya House on September 14, 2020
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Tanzanians will be allowed into Kenya without undergoing the mandatory 14-day quarantine, Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba has said.

Namwamba said this was a result of Kenya's good neighbourliness with her southern neighbour.

Tanzania is now among 147 countries whose citizens are exempted from the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

The CAS said Kenya’s foreign policy is about constructive engagement, shared prosperity and being there for one another.

“It is in that spirit that we consider ourselves to be a good neighbour to all and we consider Tanzania to be a friendly, brotherly, sisterly country with whom we share a fantastic relationship,” Namwamba said during Wednesday's Covid-19 update at Afya House in Nairobi. 

He said Kenya will focus on the factors that make countries stronger together. 

“We are happy that we can engage and interact through the airspace, through our roads and our assurance is that Kenya will continue to pursue that policy of good neighbourliness and constructive engagement.” 

Last month, Tanzania banned Kenya Airways from flying into the country. It lifted the ban on Tuesday.

Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said 14,000 passengers have arrived in the country since Kenya opened her skies to international travellers last month.

A team is working with the KCAA and the Airports Authority to assess the number of incoming and outgoing passengers to tell whether there is any change in imported coronavirus cases.

“What is important right now is not to really deal with imported cases but to realise that we have community transmission in the country,” Mwangangi said.

She added: “If 14,000 people came into a population of 40,000 who already have community transmitted Covid-19 it means that effect is highly diluted for that to be a cause of concern.”

Acting Health director general Patrick Amoth said good protocols developed jointly by the Health and Transport ministries and the airlines have limited the importation of the virus. 

They include stringent follow-ups, mandatory screening at the points of entry and insistence on a Covid-19 negative certificate before arrival in Kenya. 

On Wednesday, the ministry reported 92 positive cases from a sample of 2,985, bringing the caseload to 36,393.

Some 165 people recovered, 60 from home-based care while 105 were discharged from hospitals.

Three more patients died, raising the death toll to 637.

Twenty-five out of the new cases were from Nairobi, 20 from Mombasa, with Nakuru recording eight cases.

Garissa had seven, Uasin Gishu six, Kisumu five, Turkana and Kiambu four cases each and Kakamega three cases.

Machakos, Kajiado and Busia recorded two cases each while Nyeri, Kilifi, Taita Taveta and Tana River had one each.