High alert in Uganda after 5 Kenyan truck drivers test positive for coronavirus


High alert in Uganda after 5 Kenyan truck drivers test positive for coronavirus

In Summary

  • The Uganda national taskforce is considering deployment of rapid testing kits at the entry point so that a driver knows his status before he leaves the border.
  • Gen. Jeje however lamented that though the testing is quick and only takes 10 minutes for results, it is very expensive as each costs $65 (Ksh.6,986).
  • Meanwhile, Ugandan women have been urged to keep away from long-distance cargo truck drivers.

5 Kenyan truck drivers who arrived in Uganda have tested positive for coronavirus.

According to Uganda’s Health Ministry, three of them arrived via Malaba while two entered the country through Busia.

We tested a total of 1,331 samples today at Uganda Virus Research Institute. Of these, 1,020 samples are from truck drivers while all 311 samples from the community and individuals in quarantine tested negative for COVID-19,” the Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said.

“None of the cases registered today had signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19,” she added.

The Kenyan truck drivers are part of the 11 new cases announced in Uganda on Thursday, April 23.

The other six cases are Tanzanian truck drivers who arrived via the Mutukula border post.

This brings the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Uganda to 74: recoveries are at 46 and no deaths have been reported.

Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Odongo Jeje expressed concern over truck drivers entering Uganda.

“There is growing concern about the long-distance truck drivers entering the country. The concern is because quite a number of these truck drivers have tested positive,” he said during a Press briefing on Thursday.

He said the national taskforce is considering deployment of rapid testing kits at the entry point so that a driver knows his status before he leaves the border.

Gen. Jeje however lamented that though the testing is quick and it only takes 10 minutes to get results, the test kits are very expensive.

Each test kit costs $65 (Ksh.6,986) yet on average, 1000 vehicles enter Uganda through the border,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ugandan women have been urged to keep away from long-distance cargo truck drivers.

“I appeal to all of you who live along the roads followed by the truck drivers including the women who interact with them for different purposes to stay away from these truck drivers. During this period of lockdown, please do not accept visitors into your homes, not even neighbors, ensure adequate physical distancing with people who do not live with you every day,” she said on Saturday while giving the second comprehensive update on COVID-19 response,” Dr. Aceng said as quoted on the Daily Monitor.

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