A group of 22 South Africans who were to be repatriated from Kenya – as the world battles coronavirus – remain stranded in Nairobi.
This after SEMAIR, the airline that was to evacuate them, again, cancelled at the 11th hour.
The airline is alleged to have failed to inform passengers and the South African High Commission in Kenya.
The High Commission says it is in contact with the airline to provide accommodation for the 22 South Africans.
One of the passengers is Kevin Sellis. He says the airline has so far cancelled three times with very little information to those affected.
In the video below, South Africans living abroad share their COVID-19 experiences:
The commercial airliner was scheduled to leave Nairobi on Tuesday afternoon, with stopovers in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
South Africa would have been the latest country to evacuate its citizens from Kenya following the same move by others, including Britain and the US.
Although Kenya has less than 1 000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, it has put in place stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease, including halting all international flights.
And, over the weekend, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the extension of the dawn to dusk curfew.
“We were hoping that the relatively small number in Kenya, life would go back to normal,” says Acting SA High Commissioner, Thembela Ngculu.
The COVID-19 outbreak, which led to many countries closing their borders and instituting lockdowns, has left many citizens stranded across the globe.
To date, the South African government has facilitated the return of more than 600 citizens who had been stuck abroad.