193 Kenyans in diaspora have tested positive to COVID-19 – Foreign Affairs Ministry

Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo. [Photo KDF]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that 193 Kenyans in the diaspora have tested positive for coronavirus.

A further 30 have succumbed to the virus.

On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Raychelle Omamo said that the 30 deaths reported were from Italy, the US, Sweden, France and South Africa.

She told the National Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee that 88 of the case were active while 78 had recovered. Four people, however, are still in the intensive care unit (ICU).

She added that the ministry had put solid measures to ensure that Kenyans in the diaspora are assisted where possible.

“Ministry has come up with a policy framework to assist Kenyans in the Diaspora. We’ve had non-monetary interventions including collaboration with governments in overseas to assist students whose education has been put on hold but aren’t able to return,” she said.

However, Kenyans whose visas have expired and contracts ended remain stranded abroad in the wake of the suspension of international travel across the globe.

“Then those who went to other countries as tourists but unfortunately the airspaces were shut before they could return,’ she said.

To ensure that they are safe, the ministry through different missions in these countries have asked for an extension of work permits and visas for Kenyans who are unable to renew them due to the pandemic.

“Kenyans abroad are not a homogenous group. There are those will long-term contracts and therefore have medical insurance. There are those who have social security in the different countries they live in. Those who reside in compliance with the law.”

Over the last week more than 400 Kenyans stuck in China, UK and India were repatriated at their own cost.

A second evacuation flight is expected to leave Heathrow Airport in London on Friday, May 15.