Kenya: Govt Says Kenyan Students Safer in Wuhan, Rules Out Evacuations

20 February 2020

Nairobi — The government on Thursday said Kenyan students in China's Wuhan city are safer there, ruling out evacuations amid calls for urgent measures by the families of about 100 Kenyans in the epicenter of coronavirus which has so far killed more than 2000 people.

Speaking during a press briefing Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said all the students are in good health.

He also urged them to stay put as flying back home could put them and others into unnecessary risk.

"Where they are none of them have been infected, if we were to put the 100 together and in the process of the flight four or five are infected would you want to go through that? We are supposed to put aside emotions from what is real and what is objective and address it from that point of view," he said.

Director General of Health, Patrick Amoth, assured parents and relatives of the students that all was being done to support.

"Ministry of Health is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support parent thorough psychosocial support, we will further support the student in terms of finances which the Kenyan embassy in Beijing is processing on-ward transition to the students," Amoth said

Oguna also announced the government had released Sh1.3 million for the students' upkeep.

The students are said to be stuck in their rooms for weeks following the outbreak of the deadly virus.

Information from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates as at February 2019, 73,332 confirmed cases have been reported globally and deaths majority from mainland China.

In the African continent, one case has been reported in Egypt.

The rate of transmission, according to the Ministry of Health in China, has reduced outside the virus hit Hubei Province following lockdown measures that have been imposed on several cities in China to curb transmission of the virus.

Oguna said the government had put measures in place in including, a National Contingency Plan to guide preparedness and response activities in view of the potential threat posed by importation of the virus into Kenya.

An Emergency Operations Centre is closely monitoring the evolution of the outbreak in China and the rest of the world, he said.

In addition, trained rapid response teams are on standby to investigate any alert in-country.

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