By BONFACE OTIENO
Dubai has banned all inbound and transit passenger flights from Kenya for the next 48 hours amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.
The new directive took effect today, December 20, 2021, at 9.30 am Kenyan time.
However, the suspension does not affect cargo freights and passenger flights from Dubai to Nairobi.
“Please be informed that the operations of all air transport services for inbound and transit passenger movements to Emirates of Dubai from any point in the Republic of Kenya are temporarily suspended for 48 hours effective December 20, 2021,” reads a notice from the Dubai authorities.
Its national carrier, Emirates Airlines, has since suspended flights. “Customers will not be accepted for travel on Emirates flights at Nairobi during this time,” the airline said on Monday.
The suspension will see Kenya join nations, including Nigeria, where Dubai has banned passenger travel.
Kenya has seen coronavirus resurgence with a rapidly rising caseload since confirmation of the highly infectious Omicron variant last week.
About 1,372 people have tested positive for Covid-19, from a sample size of 5,635 tested in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate is now at 24.4 percent, the highest rate recorded since March at the height of the third wave.
Total confirmed positive cases are 263,707 with 5,353 fatalities as at Sunday.
Some 8.86 million Kenyans have so far received vaccines. Of these, 5.29 million are partially vaccinated, with those fully immunised at 3.57 million.