By Sharon Atieno
As some African countries resort to the removal of their citizens from Wuhan city- the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak- evacuation is still not an option for Kenya.
With infections rising up to 70,000, with majority being in China, Seychelles, Egypt and Mauritius removed their citizens from the Wuhan city which is currently under lock down.
Amidst the calls of the Kenyan citizens trapped in the Chinese city to be evacuated, the government has held its ground that no evacuation can be done yet as “it is better to manage an infectious problem at the point where it has been identified rather than passing it over to another country where you are actually exposing innocent people to that problem.”
These were sentiments shared by Dr. Philip Muthoka a Member of coronavirus taskforce and coordinator, Ministry of Health during an interview in one of the local television stations.
“It is better they are managed in Wuhan than coming to Kenya where there is a possibility of transmitting the infection to the rest of the people in Kenya,” he said.
He also notes that the country has still not put in place a structure where those evacuated could be put for the 14 days of incubation to determine whether they are infected or not.
“It will be good first to put in place structures where we can quarantine these persons who are coming from Wuhan and ensure we have adequate supplies and manpower to be able to manage them before we evacuate them,” said Dr. Muthoka.
Seychelles and Mauritania after evacuating their citizens from Wuhan made arrangements for them to be quarantined in France.
However, he said that the government is putting into consideration the establishment of a quarantine facility.
It has been five weeks since the Chinese city has been on lock down, the students have raised concern over food scarcity, lack of access to medicine as well as other essential personal care products.
So far, the seven suspected cases of coronavirus in the country have tested negative with screening activities ongoing at airports and other entry points in the country.