Govt mulls stringent measures at border points

The government says porous borders have been classified as high-risk areas in the transmission of coronavirus.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi says the government is putting in place interventions to curb further spread even as eight truck drivers from Tanzania were denied entry into Kenya after testing positive for coronavirus.

Speaking Thursday during the Covid-19 daily briefings at Afya House, the CAS said seven of these cases were from Namanga border point and the other one from the Isebania border in Migori County.

She said the National Emergency Response Committee is monitoring the situation closely and would not hesitate to take any measures as the situation dictates.

The CAS called on those living in border towns to embrace the Nyumba Kumi initiative and report those using illegal routes commonly referred to as ‘Panya’ routes.

“We appeal to our communities living within and around our border Counties, to actively exercise Nyumba Kumi community policing. They should be vigilant & report any suspicious individuals who may be using Panya routes to get into our country”.

She added “We are urging Kenyans to remain calm and exercise patience as the Government addresses the situation of border points. As members of the East African Community, we are in discussion with our counterparts to address the emerging trend on our borders for the safety and well-being of our people”.

Residents of the border counties have repeatedly called on the government to close the porous border to avert further importation of coronavirus from neighbouring countries.

They claim security officers were being compromised in some instances to allow movement of people across the borders.

The borders are now the key areas of focus particularly Namanga. On Wednesday 23 Tanzanian truck drivers entering Kenya tested positive.

Meanwhile, long-distance truck drivers in Mombasa are decrying long queues and slow pace of testing for the novel coronavirus at the Miritini Dispensary.

The truckers now want additional screening centres established to hasten the health clearance process which is a mandatory requirement before entering the Port of Mombasa.

Swaleh Athman Kibwana who plies the Kenya-Uganda route laments that while on transit they are harassed by law enforcement officers in both countries.

His colleagues share the same sentiments and are appealing to the Kenyan consulate in Uganda to intervene and ensure they are not profiled as Coronavirus carriers.

Residents of Miritini estate are living in fear of contracting the virus because of their close proximity to the screening facility.

Mombasa County government and the ministry of health began testing truck drivers in a bid to flatten the curve of infection in the coastal region.



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