NAIROBI, Kenya May 12 – The government has facilitated the return of 744 Kenyans who were stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic which saw the country halt international passenger flights.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Government only facilitated the travel of Kenyans who were able to pay for their tickets.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to distress calls of Kenyans in several parts of the world and in collaboration with various foreign governments and airlines has facilitated the return of hundreds of Kenyans stranded in several countries,” the statement said.
The largest number of evacuees was 233 from India which included patients and caretakers majority of whom had overstayed their visa.
“The Ministry was expecting a total of 234 Kenyans. Sorrowfully, and regrettably, we lost one patient as she was about to board the aircraft in Ahmedabad, Gujarati,” MFA said.
156 other Kenyans travelled from United Arab Emirates, 70 from South Sudan and 58 from London.
Others were 20 from Pakistan, 18 from Egypt, three from Turkey, nine from Sudan and one each from Ethiopia and Somalia.
165 others arrived from China on Sunday.
The ministry noted that over the same period, government facilitated the evacuation for medical and personal reasons 2,268 foreign nationals from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and USA.
“A total of eleven (11) Medical Evacuations have been facilitated by the Government of Kenya. All these have been COVID-19 negative cases except for one Kenyan national working with the UNHCR in South Sudan,” MFA said.
The ministry noted that 191 Kenyans living abroad have been infected with the virus. 77 have recovered, while 86 are in hospital, four of them in ICU.
20 Kenyans in diaspora have died due to COVID-19 related cases, they are spread across United States of America (USA) -10 , UK-4, Italy-2, Switzerland-1, Saudi Arabia-1 and Sweden.