By Andrew Wasike
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – A China Southern Airlines flight landed Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya with 239 people, triggering anger and shock across the East African country.
The incident comes after Kenya announced Wednesday that it had resumed flights to China.
Kenyans raised concern on social media, questioning the country's preparedness to deal with the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, at a time when many African countries have ceased operating China flights.
Activist Boniface Mwangi posed a question to Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta.
"Does Uhuru love this country? Because if he did, no Chinese flight would be allowed to land in Kenya as long as the coronavirus remains a threat. Our health system can’t handle a coronavirus outbreak."
Another netizen, Nick Nimrod, chimed in.
“Just imagine China — with all the first-class resources, they haven’t managed to contain the virus from spreading for a whole two months…Now imagine how long it will take Kenya…How long Nairobi will be a ghost town…How bad the economy will hit us."
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo assured the country at a press briefing that measures were put in place to ensure that the 239 Chinese passengers traveling to Kenya were free of the disease.
More than 100 Kenyan students are stranded in China due to the outbreak there.
Algeria and Egypt meanwhile have confirmed cases of COVID-19.