The government of South Sudan is reportedly set to deport two Kenyan citizens back to Kenya after they tested positive for Covid-19.
The decision was arrived at by a task-force led by First Vice-President Riek Machar, set up to steer the nation’s response to the global pandemic.
It was agreed at the task-force meeting on Saturday, April 18, that special permission would be sought for the Kenyan Embassy to land Aircraft 5Y-HOT CARAVAN C208 at Juba International Airport and that the pilots should remain onboard at all times.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Macharia Kamau refused to comment on whether Kenya would accept the request or not.
“No, we don’t share such information so we cannot disclose anything on that at this time to journalists,” he asserted.
South Sudanese authorities had further noted that they would engage the Kenyan embassy to land an aircraft operated by Federal Air Limited to repatriate nine more Kenyans to the country.
Kenya had on Sunday, March 22 announced the suspension of all international flights into and out of the country as part of measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.
With only cargo flights exempted from the directive, it remains to be seen how the government will react to the requests from South Sudan.
So far, South Sudan has reported only four confirmed cases of Covid-19 while Kenya has 281 cases.
On Wednesday, April 15, Ugandan authorities had announced that a truck driver from Kenya who tested positive for Covid-19 would be repatriated to the country.
Uganda’s Director-General of Health Services Henry Mwebesa noted that the patient was among 372 truck drivers tested at the border point in Malaba.
“His sample was collected at Malaba point of entry. Arrangements are being made to return him to Kenya for treatment close to his family.
“The Ministry of Health is currently testing all truck drivers (cargo transporters) for Covid-19 who come into the country via various borders,” he stated.
The Kenyan was diagnosed with Covid-19 alongside another Ugandan driver, with both having travelled from Kenya.