Kenya will start mass testing of all long distance truck drivers who are among high risk groups, Chief Administrative Secretary for Health Dr Rashid Aman has revealed.
Addressing Malaba One Stop Border Post Border committee County and National government officials in Malaba on Tuesday, Dr Aman said the exercise is crucial in combating the spread of Coronavirus in high risk border counties.
” Uganda is already undertaking mass testing of truck drivers which is appropriate, there is need for Kenya to expand its testing to include truck drivers,” he said, noting that they also plan to test high risk groups including frontline workers and all health workers.
To expand the scope of testing, the CAS said Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and KEMRI Alupe and Kisumu will be used as testing centres in the region.
To avoid traffic pile-ups in Malaba which is currently experiencing a 30-km snarl-up and Busia 5km, Dr Aman said the Government will negotiate with Uganda to have Kenya take samples of truck drivers 30km inside Uganda and Uganda should do likewise inside Kenya, adding that this will enable tests readily available before they cross into the country.
Transport and Infrastructure CAS Chris Obure said the 30km traffic pile-up in Malaba is unacceptable, noting that the jam has serious implications on truck owners in terms of lost revenue and dangers posed to communities living along the Bungoma-Malaba Highway.
“Covid-19 should not be a reason to defeat the objective of the East African Community, thus the need to find an urgent solution to the pandemic,” he said.
Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi urged National Government to intervene in expediting infrastructure development in Busia and Malaba borders by having the speedy dualization of the Busia-Korinda highway and construction of trailer parks in Busia and Malaba to reduce the jam madness in the border county.
Interior CAS Hussein Dado said plans are in the offing to install non-intrusive cargo scanners in Busia and Malaba aimed at enhancing trade and security.
Chief of Staff Sebastian Okiring and Malaba Central MCA Bernard Papa appealed to the Transport CAS to consider the construction of dykes along rivers Malaba and Malakisi, failure of which water-borne diseases will be inevitable once the Malaba sewerage project is complete.
Photo: CASs from second left: Dr Rashid Aman, Amb Hussein Dhado, Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi and County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri in Malaba on Tuesday.