NAIROBI,Kenya May 16 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the closure of Kenya’s borders with Tanzania and Somalia to all passenger traffic beginning midnight on Saturday in measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The order which will remain in force for 30 days is aimed at taming cross-border transmission of the disease with border towns of Namanga and Mandera identified having recorded an increase in the number of positive cases in recent days.
“There shall be cessation of movement of persons and any passenger ferrying automobiles and vehicles into and out of the territory of Republic of Kenya through the Kenya-Tanzania international border- and through the Kenya-Somalia international border except for cargo vehicles, with effect from midnight today, Saturday 16th, May 2020,” President Kenyatta directed.
During his sixth presidential address on Coronavirus pandemic, he noted that only cargo trucks will be allowed into the country through the borders on condition that the drivers undergo mandatory tests for coronavirus.
“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.
He said 43 cases reported in the last one week were imported through the Wajir, Namanga,Isebania and Namanga borders.
“We have unfortunately reported an increased number of increased cases among individuals crossing the country and this has become a great concern to us,” Kenyatta remarked.
Wajir reported 14 cases, Isebania had 10 cases, Namanga reporting 16 cases, Lungalunga 2 and a single case Loitoktok case in the last one week, the Head of State revealed.
“These numbers and the spread of infection clearly indicate that if no action is taken, all the gains already achieved in combating this pandemic will undoubtedly be lost,” he said.
President Kenyatta noted over 78 truck drivers have been denied entry into the country after they tested positive for coronavirus.
“They were denied entry into our territory at different border crossings. If we had not undertaken this intervention, the imported cases through our borders would have today accounted for more than 50 percent of the week’s infections,” he said.