Kenya closes borders with Somalia, Tanzania to curb COVID-19 spread

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya:

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenyan, on Saturday, closed the country’s borders with Somalia and Tanzania effective midnight as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Kenyatta banned the movement of persons in and out of Kenya through the Tanzania and Somalia borders for 21 days, following the rise of cross-border COVID-19 transmission.

“In the last week, we have witnessed increased imported cases among individuals crossing into the country through our borders.

“These areas have become areas of grave concern,’’ Kenyatta told the nation in a televised news conference in Nairobi.

He said all drivers of the cargo vehicles shall be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 disease testing and will only be granted entry into the Kenyan territory if they test negative.

The president said 43 cases recorded in the country over the past week had been imported from the neighbouring Somalia and Tanzania.

“These 43 cases represent almost a quarter of the 166 confirmed infections during this last week,’’ said Kenyatta.

He said that 78 truck drivers, who were foreign nationals, tested positive for COVID-19 and were denied entry into Kenya at different border crossings.

“If we had not undertaken this intervention, the imported cases through our borders would have today accounted for more than 50 per cent of the week’s infections,’’ he said.

The East African nation has so far recorded 830 cases, 50 deaths and 301 recoveries. (Xinhua/NAN)