NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20- Kenya on Wednesday received two mobile coronavirus testing laboratories donated by Germany through the East African Community (EAC) to aid in the war against the pandemic.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe described the donations as timely, saying they will go a long way in mitigating the effects of the virus which has so far infected 1,029 people following confirmation of 66 new cases Wednesday.
“As the coincidence would have it, on this day when we get these fantastic gifts we also announce that the number of cases today is the highest since the pandemic began with 66 persons having tested positive,” Kagwe said during the Ministry of Health’s daily update on COVID-19.
His EAC counterpart Adan Mohamed said testing will now be enhanced at the borders where high cases have been recorded, particularly on the borders with Tanzania.
“Our ability to succeed in dealing with this pandemic is dependent on how all of us as East African Community Member States work together. Given the nature of our porous borders, as the going goes we can only be as strong as the weakest link,” Mohamed said.
Germany Ambassador to Kenya Annett Günther expressed her country’s support during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is a crisis that tests our humanity in the way we treat each other. COVID-19 is also a test for governments everywhere. I am sure of one thing that we can only beat the pandemic if we work together through a multilateral approach. These mobile testing laboratories are an example of a multilateral approach that Kenya is receiving from EAC,” Günther said.
One of the mobile laboratories will be deployed at the Kenya-Tanzania border in Namanga.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said 182 of 214 coronavirus cases registered at the Kenya-Tanzania border were detected among foreign truckers mainly from Tanzania but none of them were allowed into the country.
Kagwe said the development explained why President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the mandatory screening of truck drivers at border posts before clearance 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.