Kenya closes Tanzania, Somalia borders - International | NTV

Kenya closes Tanzania, Somalia borders

By ANGELA OKETCH

Sunday May 17, 2020

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday ordered the closure of borders with Tanzania and Somalia as cross-border Covid-19 infections continued to rise.

The President also extended the restrictions on movement in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera counties by 21 days over fears of cross-county infections.

The closure of the borders, President Kenyatta said, was necessitated by an increase in the number of “imported” Covid-19 cases.


“In the past one week, we have witnessed increased imported cases among individuals crossing into the country through our borders. These areas have become of grave concern,” said President Kenyatta.


The restrictions, however, exempt cargo trucks, but their drivers must undergo compulsory Covid-19 tests and be declared negative before being allowed through the border posts.


The President’s sixth address on the Covid-19 pandemic came as the country registered 49 new cases, bringing the national tally to 830.


This is the highest number of new cases reported in a day since March 13, when the country recorded its first Covid-19 case.

Five more people succumbed to the virus, raising the death tally to 50.


President Kenyatta said among the positive cases registered this week, 43 persons had crossed the borders from Somalia and Tanzania.


The cases are distributed as follows: Wajir (14), Isebania (10), Namanga (16), Lungalunga (2) and Loitokitok (1). The 43 cases, he said, represent about a quarter of the 166 confirmed infections this week.

Last week, the Ministry of Health classified Namanga, Kenya’s border town with Tanzania, as a Covid-19 high-risk area after a surge in numbers.


This forced Kenya to set up a mobile testing point at the border to test truck drivers.