Government moves swiftly to save Kenyans stranded in India over the worst covid-19 second wave

The government has announced that it will provide emergency services to Kenyans living in India as the country witnesses the worst Covid-19 second waves. 

Kenya’s High Commissioner to India Ambassador Willie Bett on Friday, April 23, 2021 raised an alarm over the Covid-19 crisis in India.

Ambassador Bett issued a notice to over 900 Kenyans who are currently stuck in India directing them to share their details with the Commission. 

Bett asked them to provide the government with names as indicated in the passport, passport numbers, contacts (telephone number and email), their physical address, location and purpose of visit. 

They were also directed to form Whatsapp groups and share them with the the Kenyan Embassy to India.

“You should also form Whatsapp groups and link them with the Embassy in case the need arises,” Bett wrote. 

This comes as India’s healthcare system is overstretched after a surge in Covid-19 cases. Hospitals are stretched to the limit as medics raise concerns over the lack of oxygen supplies. 

On Friday, April 23, India recorded 332,730 positive cases in 24 hours, the highest the country has recorded since the pandemic broke out. 2,263 deaths were also reported. 

“We do not have that many oxygen points. Whatever oxygen points are there, they’re full. Patients are coming in with their own oxygen cylinders or without oxygen. We want to help them but there are not enough beds and not enough oxygen points even to supply them oxygen if it is there. 

“All our telephone lines are jammed. People are continuously calling the helpline. There is a big rush outside the hospital: there are ambulances parked, patients wanting to get deboarded, but the problem is, there is no space,” Dr Atul Gogia, a consultant at the Sir Ganga Ram hospital in Delhi said in an interview with the BBC.

Hospitals, pharmacies and medical centres are congested with individuals trying to seek hospital beds, life-saving drugs, oxygen and plasma for relatives and friends. The new cases were blamed on a new ‘double mutant’ virus variant termed a super-spreader. 

India was hit by the second wave of Covid-19 after it removed some restrictions it had imposed before. Over 25 million pilgrims who attended public gatherings and festivals later did not wear masks nor adhere to social distancing. 

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    Written by Kennedy Omondi

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