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Kenya Airways sends doctors to west Africa to screen passengers

14 August 2014, 17:55 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Kenya Airways will continue with West Africa flights saying they have not found evidence showing there is an Ebola risk to their staff, members of the public and Kenya.

The company has been under pressure from the public, members of the civil society as well as some members of parliament to cease flying to west Africa, where the Ebola virus is rapidly spreading.

CEO Titus Naikuni said Thursday evening that there was no evidence to show that there would be a serious problem with them continuing their operations in west Africa.

He added that they had heavily consulted the relevant authorities and that unless the status changes, they will continue to fly in the region.

" Further to the general media update issued yesterday we have been in consultation with IATA, WHO and the Kenyan Ministry of Health over risks on air travel into and out of the ebola infected areas in West Africa.

Naikuni said that the airline would cooperate with authorities in the affected countries to ensure all is in order.

" In conjunction with the Government of Kenya Health Authorities, we shall be sending a joint Rapid Situation Assessment team to Free Town and Monrovia to assess the management protocols on the ground. In the meantime, we continue to enforce strict contingency measures and as we continue to review our current position on a regular basis.

" In view of all this advice the Management of Kenya Airways does not see a major risk that warrants stopping operations into the region. This means we will continue with our flights while reviewing the position on a daily basis.

He added that they had also been assured of their safety and that of passengers by the relevant states.

" We have been assured by the Ministry of Health authorities in the respective countries, including Kenya that the surveillance and screening at the airports conform to WHO guidelines. Further, we wish to confirm that in the interest of public safety for both our esteemed staff, passengers and equipment, we reserve the right to cancel our flights should the situation warrant.

The Ebola Virus has killed over 1,000 people so far and has now spread to as far as Nigeria, a huge transit point for west Africa.

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