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Coronavirus: Gov’t Temporary Lifts Italy Flight Ban, Suspends International Activities In Kenya

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe [Photo/Courtesy]

The government has temporarily lifted a ban suspending flights from Italy to allow Italian nationals stuck in the country be flown home.

In a statement on Friday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe stated that an empty plane from Italy will be allowed to land in Kenya to ferry the Italians back home.

“There are people locked up in Malindi about 800 of them. What we have done is to allow an empty flight to come into the airport and the passengers will have a safe flight home, ” said Kagwe.

The CS was speaking during the opening of an isolation facility at Mbagathi hospital in Nairobi. He said 1100 health workers have been trained to handle coronavirus cases.

At the same time, the CS stated that the country has banned all international activities in the country for the next one month.

“The government has with immediate effect banned all meetings of an international nature in Kenya. If a conference involves more than 15 people travelling from Europe, the Middle East or the rest of the world, we ask that we postpone [the meeting] for the next 30 days, ” he added.

Read: Kenyans React To Viral Video Showing Chinese Nationals Being Harassed Over Coronavirus

This comes just days after the government gave a directive banning all flights from Verona and Milan Italy after it was confirmed that the cities in the North of Italy have cases of Coronavirus infection.

“Following Consultations with the Italian Embassy and Stake Holders, the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus (NERCC) has concluded that flights from the North of Italy, specifically Verona and Milan which usually has direct chartered flights to our coast be suspended effective March 3, 2020,” read a statement from the Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna.

The government has also given a travel advisory to all Kenyans to avoid non-esential travel to Irish countries for conferences where there would be more than 15 people gathering.

Read Also: How Coronavirus Outbreak Is Hurting Business In Kenya

The CS urged Kenyans not to panic but practice safety practices amid coronavirus fears.

Global reports indicate that there have been at least 3200 deaths related to coronavirus with at least 95,000 infections.

However, in Africa, the cases have been minimal, with a majority of those confirmed to have the deadly virus being foreigners.

There are no cases of coronavirus in Kenya yet as all reported cases have tested negative.

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