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Uproar as passengers are left unattended at JKIA for hours  

Tuesday March 24 2020
jkia

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport's Terminal 1-A. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LEOPOLD OBI

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was on Monday evening hit by confusion that almost led to chaos after passengers protested against being kept for hours in a common waiting lounge. 

From absence of immigration officers to lack of information to direct passengers, the mix-up threatened to mess up the government directive of physical distance to check the spread of coronavirus

EXPOSURE

Travellers who spoke to Nation were concerned that the situation risked exposing those without the virus to the deadly infectious disease.

The passengers, who had travelled from different countries, complained that the immigration authorities had held over 100 of them in a room, in defiance to the social distance directive.

Mr Mwenda Rutere, who had travelled from Juba, South Sudan, complained that they did not find any immigration officers at JKIA terminal 1A to attend to them.

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Instead, he added, they were left stranded for over two hours without any information on how they would be quarantined.

“I have travelled from Juba, where no COVID-19 cases have been reported yet here we have been bundled together with other people who have travelled from other countries which is quite risky,” Mr Mwenda said.

QUARANTINE

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Sunday announced that those coming into the country will have to undergo mandatory quarantine at government isolation centres.

Another passenger also complained that while there were already many of them at the waiting bay, more passengers were still joining them after disembarking from other flights.  

“We thought that we were to be escorted into our isolation rooms as soon as we landed but I am shocked that we are being mixed together without being directed on the next course of action for hours,” the passenger said.

Kenya has so fat confirmed a total of 16 Covid-19 positive cases as of March 23.

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