Kenyans stranded abroad to be flown home at own cost
Over 500 Kenyans stranded in China and India will be evacuated next week at their own cost, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau has said.
Speaking yesterday morning on a local radio station, Kamau said Kenya Airways would airlift 300 Kenyans from India and 200 from China after being stranded due to Covid-19 outbreak.
The move comes as a relief to Kenyans in China reported to have been racially discriminated upon, evicted from their houses and forced to sleep on the streets.
“Kenyans in India will be brought back home on May 4 and those in China on May 8,” said Kamau.
Most Kenyans who were stranded in India had travelled for medical treatment.
But Kenya High Commissioner Ambassador Willy Bett said Kenyans in India will depart from Mumbai on May 7 and will be on first-come first-served basis.
The Kenyan mission in new Delhi will facilitate the movement of Kenyans from Mumbai; Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad in Telangana, Bangalore in Karnataka, New Delhi and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
“All travellers are therefore required to be in these cities to pick the arranged transport to Mumbai,” said Bett in a statement.
He added that Kenya Airways will charge Sh80,000 business class and Sh43,000 for economy class tickets one way.
The communication comes a day after the Kenya High Commission in United Kingdom announced Kenyans are free to come back home.
Kenya High Commissioner in UK Manoah Esipisu said flight destined for Nairobi from London would depart on May 4.
“On arrival, all passengers will be subjected to the 14-28 days mandatory quarantine period imposed by the Government of Kenya in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines,” said Esipisu.
Kenyans in UK wishing to return home will have to dig deeper into their pockets to a tune of Sh100, 000 to Sh150,000.
According to Kenya Airways, the one-way flight ticket goes for Sh54,000 economy class and Sh96,800 business class.
They will also be required to foot for mandatory government quarantine with the minimum charges amounting to Sh2,000 per day for 14 to 28 days amounting to Sh28,000 to Sh56,000 respectively.
The round trip from China to Kenya as per Kenya Airways charges is Sh84,000 while from Nairobi to Mumbai is Sh42,000.
The PS revealed that at least 18 Kenyans have died in foreign countries since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
He said families willing to bring home the bodies of their relatives will have to bear the costs or allow them to be cremated in foreign land.
The PS added that one Kenyan suffering from Covid-19 is admitted at the ICU in Sweden.
He defended the government from claims of laxity in protecting its citizens in foreign countries, saying Kenyans who were reportedly evicted from their homes in China had been allowed back to their houses.
On April 16, Kamau following concern regarding treatment of Kenyans in China, met with Chinese Amb Wu Peng and reiterated his displeasure and disappointment on treatment of Kenyans.
“No excuse can justify discrimination and prejudice,” Kamau said.