NAIROBI, Kenya June 17 – The Kenyan government has dismissed reports that 200 Chinese nationals have left the country over COVID-19 fears.
This follows a report published in a local daily that 200 Chinese nationals flew out of the country, after obtaining a court order to leave.
The Chinese Embassy in Nairobi too dismissed the claims as “totally false and based on the Reporter’s imagination.”
“The Chinese Embassy firmly reiterates that the reports on Daily Nation about Chinese nationals taking flights back to China are false,” the Embassy said in a statement, “There is no passenger flight to China this week.”
The statement was consistent with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which also described the newspaper report as “fabricated and imagination.”
The Director of Communications at the Ministry, Jane Kariuki, said the government has demanded an apology from the paper.
China Southern Airlines which was to have flown them to China, also rebuked the story as “fake news.”
“There was no flight from Nairobi on Tuesday,” said Huang Guanwen, the airline’s General Manager, “Southern Airlines is still waiting for approval from authorities to resume the flights.”
The local newspaper had reported on Monday that some 400 Chinese nationals had obtained a court order to enable them leave the country on June 16, for lack of trust in the Kenyan health system to manage the virus, reports Embassy Spokesperson Xueqing Huang dismissed.”
“That newspaper report is fabricated. There is nothing like that,” she said, “There is no passenger flight to China this week.”
The newspaper had reported that the group had obtained a court order from Justice Weldon Korir to travel on June 16.
She also dismissed as false reports on the newspaper that the group was to be led by Ambassador Wu Peng.
While the Embassy Spokesperson confirmed that the Ambassador was set to leave the country, she said it had nothing to do with the said group.
She said the Ambassador will be returning back to China on completion of his tenure in Kenya, in what she described as a normal transfer.
“This is a normal transfer but the departure date has not been confirmed,” she said, and assured of good diplomatic relations between Kenya and China.
She said Chinese nationals in Kenya have confidence in the country’s health system.
“China and Kenya maintained sound cooperation and mutual assistance in the fight against COVID-19,” Huang said, and lauded the “Kenyan government, medical institutes and all medical front liners for their excellent work.”
The Embassy has urged Chinese nationals in the country to strictly observe the COVID-19 containment measures issued by authorities in the host country in defeating the virus that had infected 3,727 by June 15.