Kenyan students caught up in a lockdown in Wuhan, China, are worried that the government is not proactive in protecting them, a day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak that has so far killed 210 people around the world and infected more than 10,000 others a public health emergency of international concern.
The students, who reached out to the Saturday Nation on Friday hours after national carrier Kenya Airways announced cancellation of all flights to and from Guangzhou in the Chinese mainland, said they were beginning to worry whether anything was being done to protect them as the situation in Wuhan continues to escalate.
A number of Kenyan and African students opted to stay in the country as China kicked off its traditional New Year celebrations. But now, confined to dormitories to protect themselves from contracting the deadly virus, they are running low on basic supplies.
“They are just telling us that they are monitoring the situation,” said one of the Kenyan students stuck in the epicentre of the virus. “Today we witnessed students from Germany and Bangladesh being evacuated by their governments.”
The Saturday Nation is not revealing the identities of those who spoke to us to protect them from possible victimisation.
In Nairobi, the Ministry of Health called for calm and reassured the public that the country is free of the virus. Outgoing Health CS Sicily Kariuki said samples taken from a male student who flew into Nairobi earlier in the week had tested negative for the virus.