Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has stepped up security measures at points of entry and also sent Covid-19 related items to counties along the border after the increase in death toll in neighboring Tanzania.
Talk to TBEN.co.ke On Saturday February 20, Kagwe said he had improved health surveillance at ports, increased testing capacity and sent personal protective equipment (PPE) to all border counties.
These include Mombasa, Kwale, Migori, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Busia and Kilifi. Health Director General Patrick Amoth added that counties were instructed to step up border checks, tracing, tracing and surveillance.
Amoth said they were also working in coordination with Nyumba Kumi officials and a number of NGOs to track people sneaking into Kenya through informal border points. Nyumba Kumi elders have been urged to urge residents to report suspects to health or police officers.
The names of RoboRafiki Tumaini, Jasiri and Shujaa which were presented to the Kenya Ministry of Health on Friday January 22, 2021
“We have asked our officers to ensure that anyone entering Kenya from Tanzania has a negative Covid-19 certificate, with the exception of TBEN who test positive and return home. These TBEN will be taken for sequencing. allowed to cross the border, ”Amoth said, addressing TBEN.co.ke.
The CEO added that they were using rapid tests to speed up testing for Covid-19 at the border post and they had also improved surveillance at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Kenya secure robots that have been deployed at JKIA, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Mbagathi Hospital.
Robots can perform temperature checks on individuals, broadcast messages reminding people to disinfect, detect if people are wearing masks, and disinfect a contaminated area.
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli declared the country to be coronavirus free in April 2020 and ordered the full reopening of borders and economic activities, saying God had protected the East African nation.
The country last released its Covid-19 update in April 2019, when cases stood at 509 with 21 deaths and 183 recoveries. Magufuli has since warned health officials against adopting vaccines produced by foreign countries. He also limited announcements of information about Covid-19 to the President, Prime Minister, Minister of Health and the chief government spokesperson only.
Magufuli further urged residents to practice hygiene and use traditional medicines. Wearing masks and social distancing are not mandatory.
In February 2021, Tanzania lost Zanzibar’s first vice president Seif Sharif Hamad and five retired army generals in deaths linked to Covid-19. The Tanzania Medical Association acknowledged on February 5 that there had been a sharp increase in patients admitted to hospitals across the country with “respiratory problems”.
The Catholic Church has also broken ranks with Magufuli and urged his administration to recognize the damage caused by Covid-19 in Tanzania.
“The problems may be caused by ‘pneumonia, asthma … heart disease or may be the later stages of death or COVID-19,” the statement said.
Magufuli, however, reiterated that Covid-19 does not exist in Tanzania. He rejected the lockdowns and asked Tanzanians to pray for three days starting Friday, February 19.
“God has never abandoned this nation. We never imposed the lockdown in 2019 and we will never impose the lockdown. Let’s pray and fast for three days. I am sure we will win. May I ask the religious leaders as you have done, keep on insisting in prayer, “said Magufuli, addressing the mourners in Dar es Salaam at the requiem mass for the chief secretary, the ‘Ambassador John Kijazi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzanian President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a moment of light after the elder’s visit to Tanzania in July 2019