NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – The Ministry of Health on Tuesday said 182 of 214 coronavirus cases registered at the Kenya-Tanzania border were detected among foreign truckers mainly from Tanzania, none of who were allowed into the country.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said this explains why President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the mandatory screening of truckers at border posts before being cleared into the country.
Kenya also closed its borders with Somalia, following increased coronavirus cases at Wajir which borders Somalia.
“If we would not have taken the action of testing at the border these 182 people would now be moving around the country and you can therefore imagine what this would have caused,” said Kagwe.
The move by Kenya to close the Kenya-Tanzania border to passenger traffic has however not augured well with Tanzanian authorities who in retaliation issued orders barring Kenyan truckers from entering Tanzania.
CS Kagwe announced that the Ministry of Health had set up two mobile laboratories and another lab in Namanga to expedite COVID-19 screening.
Namanga border point registered 126 cases, Lunga Lunga (24), Loitoktok (5), and Isebania (4).
East African Community Affairs Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed said cargo trade between Kenya and Tanzania will continue uninterrupted but insisted each truck driver will be subjected to a coronavirus test.
Kenya currently has 963 confirmed cases, out of which 358 recoveries and 50 deaths have been reported.
The number of active cases being managed in treatment and isolation centres stood at 555 as of Tuesday.
Kagwe said none of the coronavirus patients was on ventilator or using oxygen support.
To date Kenya has tested 46,784 samples.