Economy

Kenya bans India travel on Covid surge

India Covid

A health worker walks inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a Covid-19 ward in New Delhi on April 27, 2021. PHOTO | AFP

Kenya has banned passenger flights from India for the next 14 days due to a highly infectious new coronavirus strain.

The new directive will take effect in the next 72 hours to allow passengers who had Kenya travel plans to arrive on time.

Those travelling to Kenya after the Saturday midnight deadline from the Asian state will undertake a mandatory Covid-19 test upon arrival.

The passengers from India will also be required to observe a 14-day quarantine to be monitored by Kenya's health officials.

"This suspension is to take effect 72 hours from now to allow those passengers travelling from India to arrive into the country," Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said on Wednesday.

The suspension will see Kenya join nations including Bangladesh, the UK, Oman, France and Hong Kong that have banned travel to and from India or asked their nationals coming from the Asian country to isolate themselves in government-approved hotels.

India has seen soaring infection rates, a rapidly rising death toll and the discovery of a new virus variant. On Wednesday, it recorded 360,960 new cases of Covid-19 infections in 24 hours as hospitals turned patients away due to the shortage of oxygen, intensive care beds and ventilators.