Kenya issues travel advisory against Tanzania as COVID-19 situation escalates
The government of Kenya issued an alert to her citizens living in Tanzania in the wake of the Covid-19 upsurge in the neighbouring country.
The Director of Public Health, Dr Francis Kuria, has advised Kenyans to conform to strategies laid out by relevant authorities.
“We are asking Kenyans in Tanzania to seek informed advice about the disease.
“We are alert. We have heightened surveillance at the border to avoid any further imported infections. We have also advised Kenyans, in general, to avoid unnecessary travel to Tanzania,” Kuria, an assistant to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said at an interview in a local radio station.
Rift Valley Regional Coordinator, George Natembeya added that the government beefed up security and surveillance at the official border points at Namanga.
Natembeya said that Kenya is aware of the developments in Tanzania and Government officials at the Namanga One-Stop Border Post should be vigilant. He also called for enhanced co-operation between Kenya and Tanzania to manage the virus at the border.
On Saturday, February 20, Kenya’s Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and his Director-General, Patrick Amoth told Kenyans.co.ke that they enhanced port health surveillance, increased testing capacity, and sent personal protective equipment (PPEs) to all border counties.
Amoth affirmed that they are also coordinating with Nyumba Kumi officials and a number of NGOs to track individuals who sneak into Kenya through informal border points. Nyumba Kumi elders were directed to urge residents to report suspects to health or police officers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) urged Tanzania to start reporting Covid-19 cases and share data after the country’s President John Pombe Magufuli urged citizens to take preventive measures against the virus. Magufuli had earlier on refuted the existence of Covid-19 in Tanzania.
Magufuli who had reiterated on prayers and traditional herbs turned around and asked the citizens to take precautions and wear face masks – but only locally made ones.
The country last posted its Covid-19 update in April 2020 when the cases stood at 509 with 21 deaths and 183 recoveries. However, the recent deaths of several senior government officials shed light on the dire situation in the country.