Kenya: Flights Boon and Threat

editorial

The resumption of international flights that have been grounded for several months over the Covid-19 pandemic comes with serious challenges. One is the issue of just how well-prepared and safe the country is to handle the reopening of the aviation passenger business.

The inevitable question is: Could this be another avenue through which the infections could increase?

We know that for this decision to have been made, it has been seriously thought through, addressing the safety concerns and the precautions that must be taken. Of course, the travellers will have to produce Covid-19-free certificates.

Other passengers will be quarantined on arrival. However, even those measures cannot be foolproof, as we are dealing with a tricky new invisible enemy that the world is still not very sure about.

There have been shifts and readjustments in the efforts that have been made by the experts seeking to understand how to effectively deal with the deadly virus behind the respiratory illness.

The increasing knowledge about how the disease spreads and how it can be contained is crucial. Playing a pivotal role here is the World Health Organisation.

But this new phase in confronting the pandemic is a source of new friction with Tanzania. It stems from differences in approach in dealing with it.

Tanzania is not amused that it has been excluded from the Kenyan list of countries from which flights to the country have been sanctioned. It has thus responded by banning Kenya Airways flights to its territory.

This rekindles an earlier spat between the two countries over the testing of truck drivers. It was resolved because trade is of vital importance to both. The bone of contention is President John Pombe Magufuli's shocking stance on Covid-19. He has unilaterally declared that it is no longer an issue in his country. Nothing can be further from the truth.

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