The deadly Indian Covid-19 variant has been detected in Kisumu days after Kenya banned flights from the country.
Speaking today during the daily coronavirus briefings, Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth said that the cases were reported in five people working in a fertilizer plant in Kisumu.
The five people are said to be Indian nationals working on a fertiliser plant.
“This variant has been picked in Kenya and because of connectivity, it was just a matter of time. You cannot be able to put barriers to prevent a virus from accessing your territory,” Amoth said.
“We picked this from a sample of Indian travellers who are doing some work in the western part of Kisumu. We have gone ahead together with the Kisumu county health team to do contact tracing.”
He said that the area has been reinforced in collaboration with public health officials in Kisumu county to ensure the variant does not spread.
On April 28,2021, all passenger flights travelling to and from India were suspended for 14 days.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the National Response Committee (NERC) arrived at the decision after deliberations following the surge of Covid-19 cases in India.
”The Committee observed the dire events in India and noted the increasing surge of Covid-19 infections in the country. The Committee empathized with the situation and through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed solidarity with the Government of India in dealing with situation. The Committee regretted the events nonetheless and given the obtaining situation, resolved to suspend all passenger flights in and out of the country for a period of 14 days subject to review,” he said
” All passengers arriving from India within these 72 hours shall be subjected to rapid antigen testing upon arrival at our ports of entry and shall be required to strictly observe a 14-day quarantine period that will be closely monitored by our health Officials,” he added.
He however said cargo flights from India will remain in service subject to observation of transport protocols.
Kagwe, however, said Kenya empathises with India during this difficult time and pledged to support the Asian country in dealing with the situation.