High court suspends flights from China-Nairobi amidst public outcry over corona virus


High court has temporarily suspended all flights from China to Nairobi due to the corona virus crisis.

This is after the Law society of Kenya moved to court seeking to have the decision by state allowing further non-essential flights from China to Kenya overturned due to the coronavirus disease after the landing of a flight with 239 passengers from Guangzhou, China two days ago.

The decision to allow the flight to land and disembark passengers has caused rage among Kenyans.

Justice James Makau further ordered Health CS Sicily Kariuki to prepare and present to court for scrutiny a public health emergency contingency plan to control, prevent and manage any outbreak or spread of the disease in Kenya.

Through lawyer JD Ochiel, LSK argues that CS Kariuki has failed to prepare or enforce a functional public health emergency contingency plan to control, prevent and manage the importation outbreak and spread of the disease in Kenya.

The society believes that the action and commission by the state threatens the right to health and life.

According to LSK, the respondents will continue with their “do nothing approach with ought a disaster response plan, continue to allow non-essential flights from China and lives will be lost and public funds spent in a preventable emergency if no orders will be issued by the court.

In the same court,the judge issued an order preventing the health CS, transport CS, foreign affairs CS, the AG and Kenya Airports Authority from letting into the country by air, sea and land any persons from China or any other WHO designated hot spot country that is adversely affected by the virus.

Justice Makau has also compelled the CS to account, re-examine, and quarantine in a KDF facility all the 239 passengers  that they let into the country aboard a chinese flight which landed at JKIA on 26 February.

The Judge said the passengers will be confined and quarantined in the facility until they are duly certified to be free from the COVID-19.

This petition was filed by two doctors, Joseph Mithika Mwenda Mzalendo and Dr Thiakulu Cyprian Mwirabua through their lawyer Henry Kurauka.

The doctors argued that the decision to let into the country the 239 passengers was in contravention of the Global Travel Restrictions by WHO and the constitution of Kenya which guarantees citizen’s right to life, health and safety.

Both matters will be mentioned on 3rd March.