400 Chinese nationals demand to leave Kenya over COVID-19 fears

China Southern
China Southern. [Photo Capital FM]

A total of 400 Chinese nationals in Kenya have sought High Court orders to compel the state to allow them to leave Kenya citing fears of contracting COVID-19.

The Chinese nationals told the court that Kenya’s health system cannot handle the pandemic when it goes full-blown, therefore, want to leave on June 16.

They argued that they stand a better chance in getting better treatment back in China should they contract the virus.

They offered that China has better and more sophisticated medical equipment to help them pull through.

“They have underlying conditions and others just don’t feel safe here. All the isolation centres are full, testing and contact tracing is a big deal to the Kenyan government. Let them just go back home as they so wish,” their lawyer Isaac Okiyo argued before Justice Weldon Korir.

Justice Korir, granted the 400 Chinese nationals permission to leave. Among them is Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng who has been recalled to Beijing.

Okinyo said that following the consent by the court, they are now waiting for Foreign Affairs Ministry give a nod to their departure.

The lawyer also wrote to the Chinese Embassy in Kenya notifying it that his clients asked for departure.

“We are still waiting for response, although everything is ready and they are set to go any time,” Okinyo told Saturday Nation.

Okiya explained that he had to resort to a court process so that his clients would be allowed to leave Kenya in light of the international flights suspension.

One of the female Chinese nationals ready for evacuation said she is no longer comfortable in Kenya.

“The other day, I went to a supermarket and people were literally running away from me. In most hospitals, even if you are just going for a normal check-up, they insist that all Chinese residents be tested for Covid-19,” she said.

So far, COVID-19 cases in Kenya have crossed the 3,000 mark and the Ministry of Health has warned that the cases will continue increasing until August.