Fifteen Kenyans are in despair following a lockdown in Qatar’s capital Doha.
The 15 Kenyans cannot catch a flight to Kenya.
According to the Star, the 15 Kenyans were on transit but the lockdown has forced them to stay in Doha for four days now at the Hamad International Airport.
They are sleeping at the airport with the help of a Sudanese national who cleans the place. Benches have become their beds.
“I am Type 2 diabetic. I need medication but the situation here is hard,” Mombasa businessman-cum-politician told the daily.
He questioned why the Kenyan government is not acting yet they are being treated like prisoners to a point he had to make the call from the toilet.
“This is our third day here. We are not supposed to be seen close to each other or even talking to each other. We are like in a prison here. Why won’t our government come to our rescue?” Kassim asked.
“We do not have food. All shops here are closed. We only get small amounts of food from the cleaners here who empathize with us,” Kassim added.
The other lot comprises Kenyans who have been working in Qatar who are now jobless as they were sent on unpaid leave following COVID-19 outbreak.
Their distress now lies in the fact that the Qatari government has suspended all in-bound flights while Kenya, on the other hand, has suspended all international flights.
Mr Kassim who had travelled to Israel for business urged the Kenyan government to evacuate them saying other countries have evacuated their people in the Gulf where over 1,200 cases of COVID-19 have been reported.
He recalls that he was not able to book a flight to Kenya before the suspension on international flights because the flight was fully booked and the prices for air tickets had increased twofold.
He tried connecting flight to Zanzibar but Tanzanian nationals in Qatar were given priority.
“On Day two at the airport, we were informed that the Kenyan government had refused to allow flights to Kenya. This was four hours to our departure,” said the politician.
He said they are ready to pay for quarantine as long as the government makes arrangements to have them flown back to Kenya.