On Friday, February 28, High Court judge James Makau ordered Interior minister, Fred Matiang’i, and former Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki to immediately trace and quarantine all 239 passengers who arrived aboard a China Southern Airlines flight on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.
Six days later, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho stated that the government is yet to track down and isolate the 239 passengers.
While appearing before the National Assembly and Senate Joint Committee on Health, Kibicho stated the government knew where the 239 passengers were living but could not isolate them.
A Southern China plane lands in Guangzhou on June 3, 2013
“We couldn’t track down and isolate them at a KDF facility as ordered by the courts because they haven’t exhibited any symptoms of the dreaded coronavirus.
“I can confirm before this committee that we have contacts of all the 239 passengers,” Kibicho stated.
Additionally, the PS highlighted measures that had been put in place at the JKIA before allowing the passengers into the country.
“Every person entering this country is undergoing a thorough screening exercise.
“Upon arrival, their data is collected and sent to the Ministry of Health, which, thereafter, issues an order okaying or rejecting the passengers’ clearance. That is done at all airports in Kenya,” the PS assured.
He added that the government had also set up isolation wards in all level five hospitals across the country.
On the other hand, Transport CS James Macharia, who also appeared before the committee, stated that the government had ensured that Kenyans would not get exposed to the virus.
“We’ll continue to review our travel policies. Currently, we are deliberating on whether we should suspend flights to Rome and Italy as a whole.
“We are also keenly monitoring the movement of ships into the country. Actually, the number of foreign vessels docking in Kenya has reduced. One of the countries which we have banned vessels from, is China,” Macharia stated.
A tourist is screened for Coronavirus at the Port of Mombasa on February 13, 2020