Alarm as Kenya exports 10 Covid-19 cases to her neighbours
Kenya has exported 10 cases to her neighbours with seven of them going to Uganda and three to Rwanda.
Kenya leads her neighbours in the number of Covid-19 cases that have been reported in the region with 320 as of Thursday.
On Thursday, Uganda revealed that five of their 11 new cases came from Kenya and the remaining six came from Tanzania.
Last month, Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, while confirming 17 new coronavirus cases, said three were Kenyan nationals who had travelled to the country recently.
In Uganda, the majority of the cases have been linked to truck drivers who arrived in the country from Kenya through Malaba and Busia border post.
Spike witnessed across African countries
The spike in Uganda’s cases matches the spike witnessed across African countries on Thursday where an unprecedented high number of new cases were recorded on the continent.
South Africa registered 318 new cases, Egypt 232, Cameroon 171, Guinea 101, Morocco 91, Somalia 42, Senegal 37, Sudan 22, DR Congo 18, Kenya 17, Mali 16, and Cape Verde 9.
However, there was no significant rise in the number of deaths across the continent.
The issue of truck drivers importing coronavirus into the country puts Uganda in a classic catch-22 situation; focus on the health or the economy.
Ugandan Minister of Internal Affairs General Odongo Jeje on Thursday 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.
He said the national taskforce was considering the deployment of rapid testing kits at the entry point so that a driver knows his status before he leaves the border.
The cross-border cargo checkpoints seem to be Uganda’s new battlefront after the country closed all its borders but allowed cargo movement.
The government on Thursday said it is considering several options to control the entry of cargo drivers.
“While we are sacrificing to keep the spread of COVID-19 minimal, our efforts are undermined by imported cases. (The) government has noted these concerns and the national task force is now studying possible remedial actions,” Odongo said.
While addressing the country last week, President Museveni said truck drivers who have been tested for coronavirus should be left to proceed with their journeys and only traced if they test positive.
Meanwhile, the Ugandans are increasingly getting agitated in light of the recent trend in Covid cases many of whom are cargo truck drivers.
Many have expressed their concern on social media, saying it is retrogressive for Ugandans to do their part by observing stay-home orders only for foreigners to import the disease and spread it into the country.
Some are proposing that these truck drivers be allowed into the country only after their test results have been established.