Kenyans banned from entering Saudi Arabia over Coronavirus

An airport in Saudi Arabia Arrivals section. [Photo courtesy]

Kenyans will no longer be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia over coronavirus, a directive from Saudi’s governments directs.

Besides Kenya, Saudi Arabia banned citizens from Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Switzerland, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines and Ethiopia from entering the country.

Consequently, Saudi citizens have been suspended from travelling to the countries whose citizens are now banned from entering Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government gave a 72-hour ultimatum to citizens from the affected countries to pack and leave, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports.

The directive now deals a blow to thousands of Kenyans working in the gulf country in quagmire.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia issued travel ban to 19 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria and South Korea. Others were Egypt, Italy and Iraq.

Though there has been no confirmed case of coronavirus in Kenya, the government continues to stay alert.

Last week, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe banned international conferences in Kenya for the next 30 days. The ban was effective from March 6, 2020.

The CS through the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus (NERCC) also suspended flights from Northern Italy where over 10, 000 cases of coronavirus have been reported.

Currently, 4.635 people from 124 countries have died of coronavirus while a further 126, 386 have tested positive.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday described the virus as a pandemic.

“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference, the Standard reports.