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Coronavirus: up to now italians can fly to Kenya

WHO: "Kenya not well prepared, but moderate risk of outbreak"

25-02-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo

Even if the attention on the outbreak of the Co-vid19 virus, popularly known as Coronavirus for us Italians is focusing in an important and rightly careful way (even if perhaps too anxiety, given the mortality rate and especially the age and previous conditions of the first victims) for us who write about Kenya for Italians, there are two news to keep an eye on every day: the possibility that the virus lands in Sub-Saharan Africa and the possibility that Italian tourists arriving from Italy, especially from Lombardy and Veneto, may continue to land in Mombasa and Nairobi.
Yesterday an Alitalia flight bound for Mauritius for hours could not get its Italian passport passengers out of the aircraft. The authorities of the island would have wanted to "quarantinare" all or alternatively send them back, but then let the tourists get off and detain those coming from the incriminated regions, about 40 rather than spend almost the whole holiday in a hospital in Mauritius, they preferred (of course) to return home. In this case the African state was untimely, communicating its decision to the Farnesina, which immediately updated the site traveller-safe, only when the direct flight from Rome was already in the skies.
It is difficult that this could also happen in Kenya, unless there is an exponential growth in cases and deaths in our country. First of all, between Kenya and Italy there is only one direct flight, Kenya Airways from Rome to Nairobi and since it is a Kenyan national airline and not an Italian one, in case the decision would already take place at the departure airport and not at the landing airport, in secundis Kenya, especially in Mombasa where there are still direct charter flights from Italy, is not equipped to put all the passengers of a Boeing in isolation at the same time. In case of a last-minute decision by the Kenyan side, one could think of the request not to disembark and return, with all the problems that would result. Such an assumption would be difficult to make.
As far as the risks are concerned, the World Health Organization has defined Kenya as a country with a medium-low risk of epidemic, this is due not only to the scarce air traffic compared to other countries, but also to the hot climate of this summer period. Nevertheless, the emergency remains and the situation, it is clear, should not be underestimated. The publication close to the WHO "The Lancet" also writes that Kenya, like Ethiopia, is not yet well prepared for a possible outbreak, even if day after day the level of security, controls and international aid increases. For a few days now, even the NGOs have been entering the field to better prepare for the possible but not very likely arrival of the Coronavirus. Its "cousin" SARS in fact in East Africa failed to proliferate and there were no victims. It is hoped that Co-Vid19 will also avoid these countries and peoples who already have their own problems with malaria (1 million victims per year, 70% of which in Africa) and other diseases. In the meantime it is hoped that also in Italy the situation will soon return to normal and that no one will have to behave with our countrymen as many of us are doing in our homeland with Chinese citizens.
The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is constantly updated and we will frequently consult the Kenya page to give you the news, as we usually do with newspapers and Kenyan agencies.

TAGS: coronavirus kenyaepidemia kenyaitaliani kenya

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