REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Government plans to instal mobile lab at Namanga border Nairobi, Wednesday May 13, 2020

The Government of Kenya will put up a mobile testing laboratory at Namanga border point within the next one week to run Covid 19 tests for track drivers and the locals as well.

The facility according to the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman is key in surveillance and monitoring of the virus within the region, an area he said has now been classified as high risk based on Covid-19 positive cases detected in the last few days.

The mobile laboratory under East African Community programme aims at improving disease surveillance between member states. “Through  this programme, we will receive two mobile laboratories for Kenya to be used for  molecular work and testing for Covid -19 and hopefully within the next one week, one lab will be in Namanga to address the testing of track drivers in that area,” he said.

The government he added has earmarked resources for the testing programme which encompasses several testing centres spread across the country and noted that testing levels have continued to increase despite the constraints of reagents. “This will not happen again as we have received a consignment  of  8,000 tests kits and by the end of tomorrow we will receive an additional 18,000 more and others are in the pipeline. We are also expecting another consignment in the month of July sufficient for us to do targeted testing  even as we focus on  border point of Namanga ,” he disclosed.

He reported that so far the government has tested 35,432 samples in the country of covid 19. In the last 24 hours we have tested 1516 samples and  22 people tested positive for coronavirus. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 737. Twenty one of the cases tested are Kenyans while one is a Ugandan. The youngest is 20 years old and the oldest is 80 years.

He also announced that the government, collected samples from track drivers from Tanzania and out of the tested samples 25 people have tested positive for Covid,  23 from Tanzania, one from Rwanda and one from Uganda. “We are carrying out these tests of the  track drivers on the Tanzanian side and they remain on that side,” he clarified.

Out of the 22 cases Nairobi County has 10 cases, Mombasa 8 cases , Kajiado has 3 and Bomet has one case. Bomet now joins 20 other Counties that have recorded positive Covid cases.

He also reported  that the government has discharged 22 people from hospital bringing the total number of recoveries to 281. However,  the country has also lost 4 patients, 3 from Nairobi and 1 from Mombasa bringing the total number of those who have lost their lives due to Covid pandemic to 40.

Meanwhile. Dr. Rashid cautioned a few youths who he said are undermining the National Hygiene Initiative programme meant to economically empower them by forcefully demanding money from individuals within their neighbourhoods.“While the intention is noble, it is being implemented in the wrong way. I want to remind our young people that they are the ones who should lead in this fight, but only in the right way. Should they continue to behave in this manner, we run the risk of lowering the level of compliance, which has the potential to negate all the gains so far made,”  Rashid said.

He also urged the businesses that are  operating within the areas where movement has been restricted to desist from hiking prices of commodities. “This businesses are taking advantage of the situation by hiking prices of commodities and other essential goods that they are selling. This is totally immoral as they try to profit out of this pandemic. I want to appeal to these vendors to be more considerate as these are not normal times but its a time to watch over each other,” he said.

The Ag. Director General for Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth argued that testing at the border points is imperative for the government in accordance with the WHO guidelines. “As Kenya continues to test and report, likewise we expect the neighboring countries to also do so as Members of WHO.,” he noted.

He noted that the Mobile Laboratory at Namanga border points, will address the snarl up at the border and ensure seamless movement of cargo from our neighboring country but also acknowledged that there is still a big challenge on the border points because of the disease burden from the neighbours countries through  panya routes.

“ We are asking the  community living along the border points to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement  from neighboring countries so that we can be able to map out specific interventions to ensure security of Kenyan people,”,Dr. Amoth said.

 

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr.Rashid Aman addressing a press conference to update the status of coronaviru at Afya house.