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Kenya suspends all flights from China

/Thomas Mukoya - RC2V5D9ZLWJK

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday issued a directive on the coronavirus, that included setting up a 21-member task force and the completion of an isolation centre at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi within seven days.

“Kenya is a major international transport hub, with 70 per cent of international passengers in transit, and there is a significant threat arising from the spread of the coronavirus to Kenya from countries that have new and ongoing outbreaks of the pneumatic disease,” the Head of State said in his Executive Order Number 2 of 2020.

The President also ordered for the identification and preparation of isolation and treatment facilities in all Level Five and referral hospitals across the country to be concluded by March 15, 2020.

The National Emergency Response Committee led by the health minister has different cabinet secretaries including those in charge of Defence, Transport, Foreign Affairs, and Information Communication.

It would also have directors-general of Medical Services, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and Kenya Airports Authority, in addition to the Director of Immigration.

Earlier, a court had suspended flights between Kenya and China and ordered the state to prepare a plan to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The court ruling followed Wednesday’s resumption of flights by China Southern Airlines flights on the Guangzhou-Changsha-Nairobi route.

The Law Society of Kenya had filed a case asking the court to suspend flights again.

Justice James Makau suspended the flights for 10 days and ordered the state to prepare a “contingency plan on the prevention, surveillance and response to coronavirus”.

The team put in place by the president will also formulate, enforce and review processes and requirements for entry into Kenya of any persons suspected to have travelled to a coronavirus infested area.

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