Travellers from Kenya and 23 other countries could from tomorrow be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) as the country plans to remove the affected countries from its ‘red list’.
According to the Mail Online, the decision is based on reports that there have been no new Covid-19 variants of concern since May and the fact that the UK has higher levels of Delta infection than other countries.
The rapidly transmissible Delta variant, first identified in India, was also detected in western Kenya. The 24 countries are Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Ecuador. Others on the list are Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Oman, Namibia, Myanmar and Indonesia.
Yesterday, the government welcomed the latest development with Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth saying Kenya’s removal from the UK’s ‘red list’ is a sign of confidence in the government’s enhanced efforts against Covid-19.
This is especially in embracing and enforcement of measures against Covid-19; capacity to ramp up vaccination and carrying out genomic sequencing and surveillance of variants.
“It’s imperative that the gains we have made in the three areas has led to the UK revising the red list to remove our country,” he said.
Amoth also said together with the gains the country has made, there is a decline in infections; number of Covid-19 admissions to health facilities and ICUs adding that Kenya’s healthcare system has also remained resilient despite the accelerated Covid- 19 attacks.
National Covid-19 vaccine deployment task force chairman Dr Willis Akhwale termed the move as “good news for Kenya as this means now the two countries can engage in bilateral trade in a freer atmosphere.” “It also means that the UK now has confidence in our efforts to vaccinate more populations against Covid-19, and other control measures,” he said last evening.
The UK had in April placed Kenya among other countries on its “Red List” to slow the spread of the Coronavirus disease in the country.