President Kenyatta closes Kenya’s borders with Tanzania, Somalia for 30 days


President Kenyatta closes Kenya's borders with Tanzania, Somalia for 30 days
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation at State House in Nairobi on May 16, 2020. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

President Uhuru Kenyatta has 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.

“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,” said the President.

Addressing the Nation from State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta said over the last week a total of 43 cases recorded in the country had been imported from the neighbouring Somalia and Tanzania.

“These 43 cases represent almost a quarter of the 166 confirmed infections during this last week,” said Kenyatta.

He noted that out of the 43 imported cases 14 were recorded in Wajir, 16 in Namanga, 10 in Isebania, two in Lunga Lunga and one in Loitoktok.

The President further noted that 78 truck drivers who were foreign nationals tested positive for Covid-19 and were denied entry into Kenya at different border crossings.

“If we had not taken that intervention the imported cases through our borders would today have accounted for more than 50% of this weeks infections,” he said.

The Head of State said within the Kenyan borders, Covid-19 infections have now spread to 22 of the 47 counties.

“These numbers and the spread of infections clearly indicate that if no action is taken all the gains already achieved in combating this pandemic will undoubtedly be lost,” he said.

Covid-19 cases in Kenya rose to 830 on Saturday after 49 more patients tested positive for the disease.

The number of fatalities stand at 50 with those who have recovered from the coronavirus disease being 301.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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