31 truck drivers, including 28 Kenyan nationals have tested positive for Covid-19, Arusha Regional Commissioner (RC), Mrisho Gambo revealed yesterday.
According to Mr Gambo, the regional administration began testing all truck drivers entering the country from Kenya since May 14.
The initial 44 samples tested at the National Health Laboratory, whose results came out of May 16, 2020 showed that 14 drivers had contracted the deadly novel virus, said Gambo.
He said 11 Kenyan citizens, one Uganda citizen and two from an unnamed country, all coming in from Kenyan side tested positive for the contagion. The remaining 30 drivers, all from Kenya tested negative.
““We have deliberately taken this decision in order to protect our citizens against infections from the neighbouring country as well as making sure our general populations stand in good health as we prepare to receive tourists when high tourism season re-opens come this June 2020,” said RC Gambo.
Mr Gambo said on May 16, 23 samples were again taken from Kenyans for testing and the results that came out on May 19, 2020 showed that 10 of them were positive.
More samples were taken from 11 drivers on Monday, all arriving from Kenya with seven testing positive.
He also revealed that in an effort to confirm reliability of Covid-19 test results, Tanzanian authorities re-tested 19 drivers from Tanzania who had been declared positive by Kenya authorities at Namanga border on the Kenyan side.
“After these samples were submitted to our National Health Laboratory in Dar es Salaam, the results came back as negative for all these drivers from Tanzania. Arusha Region is confident that this is a deliberate sabotage strategy designed by Kenya against our tourism industry in Arusha and Tanzania at large,” said Mr Gambo.
RC Gambo said that Arusha Region will continue to take all necessary precautions to prevent any potential wave of Covid-19 infections that might cross into Tanzania through the Namanga border.
He expressed sincere gratitude for the cooperation the region receives from Kenyan neighbours living along Namanga border.
Kenya’s health ministry yesterday announced 66 new cases, pushing the country’s cumulative tally to 1,029, with 50 fatalities recorded so far.
The new coronavirus results in mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but it can cause more severe illness or death for some, especially older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions.