Kenya has suspended all flights to and from India for two weeks, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has announced.
The suspension, which takes effect from midnight on Saturday, is due to the rising toll of COVID-19 infections and deaths in India.
“The Committee observed the dire events in India and noted the increasing surge of COVID-19 infections in the country. The Committee regretted the events nonetheless and given the obtaining situation, resolved to suspend all passenger flights in and out of the country for a period of 14 days subject to review,” said C.S. Kagwe.
The Health C.S. said all passengers arriving into Kenya from India shall undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing.
“All passengers arriving from India within these 72 hours shall be subjected to rapid antigen testing upon arrival at our ports of entry and shall be required to strictly observe a 14-day quarantine period that will be closely monitored by our health officials.”, said C.S. Kagwe.
However, cargo flights will continue to operate upon adherence to the coronavirus containment measures.
Kenya now joins a number of other countries among them the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Oman and Singapore that have banned travel to and from India.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kenya Airways (KQ) had indicated that it would continue its Nairobi-Mumbai flights, saying the Kenya-India route is crucial as it enables shipping of critical medical equipment and pharmaceuticals into the country and across the continent.
For the seventh day in a row, India reported a record number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities Wednesday.
According to the country’s Health Ministry, India – which is the world’s second-most populous country with over 1.3 billion people- recorded 3,293 new deaths on Wednesday, pushing its COVID-19 death toll to 201,187.
360,960 new cases were also registered, taking the country’s overall caseload to nearly 18 million.