Kenya: Huge truck traffic piles-up at Malaba border amid mandate COVID testing

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Uganda made it compulsory for truck drivers to have COVID-19 testing. Due to this, there are so many trucks traffic piled up at the Kenyan borders with Uganda to wait for testing of all drivers at border crossing points. Even transporters got threatened to suspend and not allow them for transportation.

From December 20 2021, Uganda demanded mandatory COVID-19 testing for all, including travellers, truck drivers.

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Due to the mandatory COVID-19 testing, people faced massive traffic from Amagoro in Kenya, which had some distance from the Malaba border post, from January 1.

According to one of the truck drivers, “I got myself tested at Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and even I have my certificate, which is still valid and valid for another seven days. Why are they forcing me again to do testing?”

The reason for COVID-19 testing at the borders is because of the high number of Omicron cases Kenya is reporting; according to the directive by Ugandan authorities suggested the inspection of the Regional Electronic Cargo and Drivers Tracking System, which allows testing after 14 days.

Because of ongoing trade barriers, the Kenya Transporters Association has threatened to halt cargo-hauling until the Ugandan government reconsider its new directive.

According to KTA (Kenya Transporters Association)chairman “Newton Wang’oo,” we request Ugandan authorities to find another alternative rather than spend $30 per test, which comes as an additional cost for all COVID-19 tests are carried out free of cost.

Furthermore, he said we also want to know the testing schedule, test validation, and how many days the test will be valid.

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“We also need the assurance on the driver’s safety and their security and what if incase their reports came positive. Where will they get isolated, and How much do they need to pay for their isolation? And the duration of their isolation period?

Ministry of Health in the EAC also shares the COVID-19 reports from various test centres, and the results are acceptable across all borders.

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