Kemri overturns Uganda’s Covid-19 test results on Kenyan truck driver

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The Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) has overturned the Covid-19 positive test results on a Kenyan long-distance truck driver who was tested positive in Uganda while on transit a fortnight ago. According to Taita-Taveta health officials, the victim was tested at Malaba border along the Kenya-Uganda border on May 3 while on his way to Tororo. On his way back to Mombasa on May 7, Uganda authorities called and confirmed to him that he had tested positive. At the time he was being informed, he was near Maungu Township on his way to Mombasa City, said the health officials in the region.

The suspected coronavirus victim was later seized by the County Covid -19 Response team at Maungu Township and isolated at the Voi County Referral Hospital. The response team thereafter undertook a confirmatory test as well as activated the contact tracing process and other standard procedures. However, due to the fact that the test report received from Uganda indicated a positive result, further confirmatory tests at the Kemri Laboratories in Kilifi County showed negative results. But the health officials said further confirmatory tests will be run on the patient, in close collaboration with Kemri experts before the truck driver is released.

On Thursday, Health Executive John Mwakima Mwangeka confirmed that the truck driver has since tested negative at the Kemri laboratories in KIlifi County. The county executive committee (CEC) member said the joint chairpersons of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Team have since been informed of the outcome of the test and brought up to speed on the subsequent health protocols to be followed.

“The country health department wishes to bring to the attention of the public that the truck driver has since tested positive at the Kemri Laboratories in Kilifi County,” revealed Mwangeka. Further, the department of health services disclosed that testing of truck drivers kicked off on Thursday in Taveta border point, where 21 samples from the truck drivers have been collected. “In order to protect the local community, the truck drivers will not be allowed into the county until their Covid-19 test results are known,” declared Mwangeka. On the other hand, while the national and the county governments work towards ensuring that all truck drivers on the highways have been certified as Covid-19 negative, the CEC said hawking and car-wash activities along the highway are highly discouraged due to the high risks involved.

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Neema Mung'aro

Creativity is a state on mind. A Key to discovering the untold stories.