NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – The Ministry of Health has announced designated stopover areas for truckers and scaled up testing capacity for cargo transporters in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director of Public Health Dr Francis Kuria Sunday elaborated the enhanced measures as it emerged that transport sector is a key area in terms of transmission of the disease.
So far seven Kenyan truck drivers are being treated in Uganda after they tested positive on Friday.
Kuria further said the Karen Guest House and Ndasa Guest House in Busia County have agreed on negotiated rates for the truckers who may require to be placed under quarantine.
“Those operating between Mombasa and Malaba, you have a stopover in Malaba, Gilgil, Mlolongo and Mariakani. You are not allowed to stop-over at any other point. For those operating between Namanga and Nairobi they only have one stop-over point allowed in Mlolongo,” the Director of Public Health stated.
Truckers operating along Isebania-Kisumu and Nairobi will only make a stopover in Mai Mahiu and the Total Junction, Mau Summit. Those operating between Malaba and Nairobi can stop in Webuye, but there are no sleeping facilities in Webuye.
Kuria said the enhanced guidelines will be uploaded on the Ministry’s website for further reference.
He further announced that the ministry has scaled up the number of testing centres for cargo transporters along the Nairobi-Namanga corridor and Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba corridor.
This is in addition to the requirement that cargo truck drivers be tested 48 hours and obtains a COVID-19 free certificate before their scheduled travel.
“Because not all journeys will be starting in Mombasa, we have placed testing facilities where samples will be collected in the following areas; in Mombasa we have Miritini Municipal Dispensary, in Nairobi, we have the Lady Northey Health Centre and the South B Clinic, in Kisumu, we have Ahero South Hospital, in Migori, we have Migori Referral Hospital,” Kuria elaborated.
“In Eldoret, we have set up a mobile testing facility and also you can use the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, in Nakuru, you may use the General Provincial Hospital and Naivasha Hospital, in Kilifi, use can Kilifi MTC, in Kwale we have the Kwale Sub-County Hospital, Msambweni Referral Hospital and Kinango Hospital, in Machakos we have a mobile sampling facility, in Wajir and Marsabit you can use Wajir Hospital and Marsabit Hospital,” he detailed.
“We will be setting up more centres as we go along but those are one we have initially setup to facilitate truck drivers to test while on the way or to test before embarking on their journey,” Kuria added.
The requirement for a COVID-19 free certificates was adopted by the East African Community countries as they seek to ensure seamless movement of goods in the region.