British Parliamentarians question why Kenya was excluded from COVID-19 ‘red list’

Heathrow Airport International Arrivals section. [Deccan Chronicle]

The UK Parliament has aired its concern over the exemption of Kenya from a list of countries required were travellers are required to undergo mandatory quarantine.

The British Members of Parliament said that Kenya should not have been excluded from this list

Britain recenty issued a “red list” where 33 countries around the world perceived to be high risk were flagged.

This means that travellers from these countries must undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine for a period of 10 days.

This will be effective starting February 15. There are hotels designated for quarantine purposes.

Since Kenya has not been included in the red list, travelers from the East African country are required to self-quarantine at home after arrival to the UK.

A group of parliamentarians questioned why other countries such as the US, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and Belgium were left out of the list.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, Labour Shadow Home Secretary told The Guardian that these measures are not fair nor adequate.

“The government’s plans around quarantine are in disarray. Not only do they fail to go far enough – leaving open the door to potential vaccine-resistant strains, but they also can’t implement the half-baked plans that have been announced,” stated.

Dr Julian Tang, a virologist at Leicester University told the Sunday Times that countries like Kenya should be on the red list because their COVID-19 patters is still under watch.

He said that the new method of “selective red listing” would erode the gain made in combating further spread of the virus.

“It’s not good enough. This virus spreads like wildfire. If you let some people in but not others, from a virology point of view, it’s fairly futile,” Dr Tang expressed.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week said that the government has put in place elaborate measures to take care of travelers from high-risk countries.

In the plan, once the travelers land, a government-owned vehicle will transport them to different quarantine centres – hotels.

However, they will have to pay for their 10-day stay which is not cheap. It will cost them Ksh198,000 for the whole stay.