NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Fifty-three truck drivers, among them 51 Tanzania nationals have been denied entry into the country after testing positive for COVID-19.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman Monday said the fifty-one Tanzanians and two Burundians tested positive for the virus at the border points within a period of 24 hours.
“There are 53 truck drivers who were tested and were positive at the various points of entry on the Kenya-Tanzania border, all were referred back to Tanzania,” Aman said.
The referral of the fifty-one Tanzanians back to their point of origin comes a day after another twelve were denied entry to Kenya having tested positive for the virus at the Lunga Lunga and Taveta border posts.
Aman noted with concern the increasing number of detected infections among Tanzanian truckers saying the government will not relax regulations on mandatory testing of truck drivers before they are allowed into the country.
“There is some level of threat from the Tanzanian side in terms of the number of people who are turning positive and therefore we make sure we keep testing and we keep out those who turn out positive,” he added.
The government has already closed the Kenya-Tanzania border to all passenger traffic in a bid to avert a spike in COVID-19 infections.
President Uhuru Kenyatta declared that only truck drivers who have tested negative for the coronavirus will be allowed entry into Kenya.
“All drivers of the cargo vehicles shall be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 disease testing and will only be granted entry into the territory of the Republic of Kenya if they test negative,” the President said in his address to the nation on May 16.
As of May 18, Kenya had recorded 912 coronavirus cases after twelve people tested positive for the disease.
Out of the twelve new cases reported on Monday, Kajiado recorded the highest number of infections of at six while Mombasa and Kwale reported three cases each.
Taita Taveta and Garissa recorded two each with Meru resporting a single case.
A total of 1,139 samples were tested in a period of 24 hours with 44,7851 samples having been tested since March.
Twenty-two more patients were also discharged after having recovered, raising the number of recoveries to 335, the death toll standing at fifty.