Kenya has sent away 182 foreigners who tested positive for Covid-19 at Tanzanian border

Kenya has sent away 182 foreigners who tested positive for Covid-19 at Tanzanian border
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in a press briefing on May 19, 2020. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe says the decision by the government to tighten up Covid-19 surveillance measures at the borders with Tanzania and Somalia could not have come at a better time.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Kagwe said 214 people had so far tested positive for the coronavirus at the various border points with Tanzania out of which 182 of them were foreigners and had been referred back to Tanzania.

Out of the 182 foreigners turned away at the Tanzanian border, 126 of them tested positive in Namanga, 24 in Lunga Lunga, 23 in Taveta, 4 in Isebania and one case in Loitoktok.

“What would have happened had we not taken the measure of testing at the border is that these 182 people would now be in our midst moving around in our country and you can imagine the rate of infection this would have caused,” said Kagwe.

“This is critical and might explain why the President took the measures he took the other day.”

In Wajir, 14 of the 16 cases recorded in the County had crossed from Somalia while two individuals who have tested positive in Garissa were also from Somalia.

CS Kagwe said the government had fully activated the Nyumba Kumi initiatives in all counties to fight the spread of the coronavirus by individuals sneaking into the country through porous borders.

He further announced that the government is set to deploy a mobile laboratory to the Namanga to scale up the testing capacity at the border.

President Kenyatta banned movement of persons and passengers in and out of Kenya through the Tanzania and Somalia borders following the rise of cross-border Covid-19 transmission.

The President said only cargo vehicles will be exempted from the directive which takes effect from midnight May 16, 2020.

Kenyatta however stated that only truck drivers who test negative for the coronavirus will be allowed entry into Kenya.

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