NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – Kenyans have been cautioned against non-essential travel to China’s Wuhan City, the epicenter of the coronavirus whose death toll has risen to 81.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement issued on Monday urged those who must travel to ensure they comply with additional screening measures that have been put in place by authorities.
The ministry pointed out the Kenyan Embassy in Beijing was keenly monitoring the situation to ensure all the registered 85 Kenyans living in Wuhan are safe.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau also urged unregistered Kenyans to contact the embassy and have their status updated.
“Our embassy in China has issued an alert to Kenyans living in China and especially those residing in WUHAN, Hubei Province to take high precaution to protect themselves and to comply with measures put in place by the local authorities. The Embassy is aware that there are 85 Kenyans in Wuhan who are registered with the Embassy and is closely monitoring the situation,” part of the statement read.
The ministry announced that Authorities in Hubei province had halted the opening of universities and colleges and suspended the exams calendar indefinitely to curb movement and the spread of the virus.
Kenyan students studying in Hubei have been advised to stay away from the Wuhan city, the hardest hit in China.
The affected universities will notify students of new opening dates through a general circular in the press, MFA said.
Students should also keep checking with their respective institutions and the Embassy on return dates, the ministry advised.
AFP on Monday reported the hard-hit province of Hubei had suffered 24 new fatalities, while a total 2,744 cases had been confirmed.
While there were no new deaths confirmed outside of Hubei, the national tally of verified infections rose by 769, around half of them in Hubei, the National Health Commission said.
It said 461 of those infected were in serious condition.
China is reported to have locked down Hubei in an unprecedented operation affecting tens of millions of people and intended to slow transmission of the respiratory virus.
Other cases have been reported in over 10 countries worldwide including France, United States, Australia and Vietnam.