200 out of the 400 Chinese nationals who recently obtained a court order allowing them to leave Kenya amid the Covid-19 pandemic have traveled.
The group is said to have departed the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) aboard a China Southern Airlines flight on Tuesday night.
Isaac Okiya, the lawyer who represented the 400 foreigners, told Daily Nation that the group could not fit in one plane due to social distancing rules being observed by all airlines to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“The remaining 200 will leave in the course of the week. We were expecting all of them to leave at once, but considering the social-distance rule and the new sitting arrangement, they could not leave at once,” Okinyo said.
Due to the government’s ban on all international flights, the Chinese nationals were forced to petition the court to be allowed to travel.
Lawyer Okinyo told the court that his clients fear contracting Covid-19 in Kenya and that the country’s health system could be overwhelmed if the pandemic goes full-blown.
They further argued that their country has a superior healthcare system compared to Kenya, which gives them a chance to get a better medication should they be infected with the virus.
“They have underlying conditions and others just don’t feel safe here. All the isolation centers are full, testing, and contact tracing is a big deal to the Kenyan government. Let them just go back home as they so wish,” said lawyer Okiya.
On Monday, the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi refuted reports that its citizens were set to exit the country en masse over fears of contracting Covid-19. The Embassy through its spokesperson Xueqing Huang termed the reports as fabricated.
“That newspaper report is fabricated. There is nothing like that. There is no passenger flight to China this week,” Xueqing said on Monday.