Kenyans who die abroad to be buried there as government tightens restrictions
Kenyans who die abroad will be buried there, the government has announced as it tightens restrictions to fight coronavirus.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau made the announcement on Tuesday during a press briefing.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said it will not be possible to bring the bodies home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We also request Kenyans to bear with us to bury those who die in the diaspora within 24 hours and maybe the families should consider letting them be buried there given the circumstances,” Kamau said.
The also said that five Kenyans have died in the US in the last one month ‘not necessarily because of Covid-19 but issues related to the situation.’
The Ministry also said that no Kenyan had died from coronavirus in China, adding that the safety of an estimated 3,000 Kenyans living in the Asian nation.
Two Kenyans however have been admitted to Intensive Care Unit in Sweden and Germany after contracting the virus.
“Foreign missions are supporting Kenyans in diaspora amid lockdowns that have affected thousands in most foreign cities and have opened communication channels to aid any distracted Kenya citizens while ensuring pressing issues are addressed expeditiously,” he added.
According to the ministry, there are 21 students stranded in Hungary, while in France more than 60 trainees are in a similar situation.
The PS said the official number of Kenyan citizens abroad is over 2.8 million with 64 stranded in India after they travelled to seek treatment.
An additional 160 who were there to accompany their sick relatives are also stranded while in Iran, over 200 students have not been able to attend school.
On Tuesday, Deputy President William Ruto said Kenyan embassies abroad have put measures to ensure Kenyans in diaspora are supported as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause disruptions globally.
Ruto said embassy staff were doing their utmost to offer assistance to more 3 million Kenyan citizens in Diaspora who he noted were facing challenges similar to those faced by Kenyans in the country.
“We have 3 million Kenyans in diaspora. The serious challenges of Covid-19 here at home has not spared them. Our staff at embassies around the world are doing their utmost to ensure assistance is available,” said Ruto in a tweet.
Ruto’s remarks came amid reports of mistreatment of Africans including Kenyans a in China as authorities in the Asian nation enforce stringent measures to curtail new coronavirus transmissions.