Ethiopian, Kenyan flights to be suspended if situation dictates

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

Flights from Ethiopia and Kenya will be suspended if the situation of coronavirus (COVID- 19) continues to escalate in the aforesaid countries, the Ministry of Health said.

Kenya and Ethiopia have confirmed cases of coronavirus but flights have continued to land in Juba International Airport.

Last Friday, the Ministry of Health suspended FLY Dubai and Egyptian Air over efforts to curb the escalation of Coronavirus from coming to South Sudan.

Dr. Makur Matur Koryom, undersecretary in the Ministry of Health said that the suspension of Dubai and Egyptian flights was based on the available evidences of COVID-19 intensification in those countries.  

According to Matur, the rate of infection in Kenya and Ethiopia was not putting the country at the risk of flights suspension in the meantime.

“Currently, the evidence and information does not support suspending Kenyan Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. And of course, the Ministry and partners continue to monitor the situation closely, thus appropriate actions and recommendations will be made timely in case,” Dr. Koryom narrated.

The country would act immediately should the cases in such neighboring countries continue to persist given the level of surveillance, he said

“When you take such decisions, you have to weigh the effects and outcome of the decision with regard to the national interest and economic impact of any decision that we take. So per now, we are not advising that we should suspend Kenyan Airways and Ethiopian Airlines,” he reiterated.

According to him, the suspension would be effected if the virus continues to pose risks in such countries.

“But definitely at the end of the day, the lives of the people will matter and when circumstances dictate, we will then recommend to the concerned authorities to take the appropriate actions,” he indicated.

Dr. Koryom further added that the learning institutions would not be closed but an action would be taken should the case become very serious.

“We are not doing that at the moment because we think we have not reached there (the level of infection) but of course when situation dictates according to the evolution of the pandemic, recommendations will be made accordingly,” he revealed.

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