Kenya Bars Medics From Leaving To US During Covid-19 Pandemic

By Carlos Onyango / March 30, 2020 | 10:45 am



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Kenya has announced that it will not release medical practitioners to go and work in the United States as the fight against Coronavirus continues.

This follows an announcement made by the United States government that requested foreign medics to go and work in the US and assist during the Covid-19 pandemic which has hit the country hard.

The US government through the Department of State, Consular Affairs had requested the medics willing to work in the US to seek visa appointments from their respective embassies.

“We encourage medical professionals with an approved U.S. non-immigrant or immigrant visa petition (I-129, I-140, or similar) or a certificate of eligibility in an approved exchange visitor program (DS-2019), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to review the website of their nearest embassy or consulate for procedures to request a visa appointment,” the department announced on their social media websites.

The US outlined that foreign medical professionals already in the United States, J-1 Alien Physicians (medical residents) may consult with their program sponsor, ECFMG, to extend their programs in the United States.

“Generally, a J-1 program for a foreign medical resident can be extended one year at a time for up to seven years.”

The covid19 cases in the US have now reached over 123,000 surpassing those reported in China and Italy, which had been hit hard in recent days.

However, Kenya announced that medics from Kenya will not be allowed to go and work in the US since Kenya needs the medics as well especially during the Covid-19 crisis.

Kenya Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the medics will only be allowed to go and work in the US through a Government to Government agreement and not through personal arrangements.

The Health CS added that Kenya had even recalled its medics who were on leave to go back and assist in combating Covid-19 in various facilities in the country.

“We will not release any of our doctors and as a matter of fact, we have recalled those on leave to enhance our capacity. This is an international issue and no one is superior or inferior,” said CS Kagwe.

Kenya has 42 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (38 active cases) with three people recovering and one person succumbing to the virus.







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