The Kenyan government has suspended all international flights following the rise of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to 15 on Sunday.
In a state of the nation address on Sunday Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the directive will come into effect on Wednesday, March 25, mid-night.
The CS said only cargo planes will be allowed to enter the country. The airlines’ crew will be required to observe strict safety guidelines.
The government further directed that individuals coming into the country between today and Wednesday will undergo mandatory quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense.
The CS said countries wishing to evacuate their nationals must make arrangements to do so before Wednesday 25.
“Kenyans in foreign countries who would not have come back within the said period are advised to follow health guidelines issued in the respective countries, ” said Kagwe.
The CS further warned foreigners and Kenyans who had disregarded self-quarantine directive issued by the government.
Kagwe said going forward, such individuals will be forced to quarantine for 14 days. They will then be arrested and be prosecuted.
The CS said the directive will apply to all senior government officials including Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi who has been put under forced quarantine after a trip to Germany. Saburi is accused of refusing to self-quarantine.
Following the increase of the COVID-19 cases in the country, the government directed the suspension of church, mosques, funerals and other social gatherings. Funerals have been limited to 15 immediate family members.
The government further ordered the closure of all bars effective Sunday mid-night. The suspension period is indefinite.
“Restaurants will remain open for purposes of facilitating take away services, ” the CS said.
The CS said the directive is meant to reduce risk of transmission.
Globally, as of Sunday, March 22, 308,564 coronavirus cases had been recorded while the death toll stands at 13,069.
At least 95,829 people are reported to have recovered from the virus that broke out in the Wuhan city of China in December last year.