Kenyan ambassador cancels leave over deadly Coronavirus

Coronavirus crisis

Medics handle an infected patient. Ambassador Sarah Serem cancels leave to return to her post in  China amid Coronavirus crisis

Kenya's Ambassador to China Ms Sarah Serem, who is currently on leave, has stated that she will be returning to China amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Amb. Serem told reporters that she is aware of the situation for Kenyans currently in China adding that there is no urgency to evacuate them at the moment.

"I am on leave but I have decided to cancel my holiday and return to my station," Amb. Serem told reporters from her home in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

Addressing the issue of 85 Kenyan students who are living in Wuhan - the epicentre of the deadly virus - the ambassador assured that the embassy is closely monitoring the situation.

"The Chinese government has taken the appropriate steps to address the situation in Wuhan which includes quarantining those who are infected and isolating those who are yet to contract the infection, which includes our Kenyan students there and also Chinese citizens.

"It is impossible for the embassy to evacuate the Kenyans who are in Wuhan right now until they are confirmed to be free of the infection. However, we are closely monitoring their status and we have made every effort to ensure that they are comfortable during this time," Amb. Serem stated.

Kenya's embassy in China is open 24/7 - Amb. Serem

The ambassador conveyed that the Kenyan embassy in China will be operational 24/7 as they attend to Kenyans in various provinces in the country.

"The embassy has provided phone numbers through which Kenyans can make contact in case of anything. The Ministry of Health in China has also released a hotline to the public for the same purpose.

"It is my considered position that the best thing for now is to allow the Chinese authorities to deal with the situation. Wuhan is under complete lock down and I believe that is a good measure to contain the virus. If we bring back Kenyans from Wuhan without knowing for sure that they are not infected will be exposing many more people to the virus," she explained.

She appealed for calm form Kenyans as well as prayers for those who are at risk of contracting the infection in China.

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