Kenya suspends flights to India

Empty seats are seen at a departure lounge while a grounded aircrafts stand on the tarmac at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on April 3, 2020. - In addition to a night curfew in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Kenya suspended all travel for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported COVID-19 coronavirus cases. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP) (Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images
Empty seats are seen at a departure lounge while a grounded aircrafts stand on the tarmac at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on April 3, 2020. – In addition to a night curfew in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Kenya suspended all travel for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported COVID-19 coronavirus cases. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP) (Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images

Kenya’s Health Minister suspended flights to and from India for 14 days. Wednesday’s decision was in response to demands from the public that the East African nation take action on the coronavirus.

According to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) held a crisis meeting and decided that because of the catastrophic situation in India and surging COVID-19 infections, measures had to be taken to curb the spread of the virus.

The suspension is to take effect from midnight this coming Saturday. However, Cargo planes will remain in service.

Social media platforms were swamped with messages Wednesday that insisted the health ministry act following reports that a passenger plane had left India and was headed for the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

India is one of Kenya’s most lucrative destinations, especially as a medical tourist destination, serving Kenyans who are seeking treatment and those importing special medications.

A total of 834 Kenyans tested positive for the virus on Wednesday bringing confirmed cases to 158,326. Cumulative tests stand at 1,659,506 with 1,300 patients currently admitted to facilities.

Twenty-three deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours.