Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna address the press in Kajiado County on Tuesday

The government will establish a mobile Covid-19 laboratory at the Namanga border town, after nine Kenyan and five Tanzanian truck drivers tested positive for the virus.

Ministry of Health’s Ag. Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth revealed that the laboratory would be established in the next 48 hours so as to ensure seamless screening and testing of the drivers and residents.

Speaking in Namanga Tuesday, Dr. Amoth noted that Kajiado was an important corridor as truck drivers exit and enter the country at the One Stop Border Post from Tanzania and the government was committed in ensuring that cross-country infections are curbed.

“We are working on availing a mobile laboratory at the Namanga border within the next 24 hours-48 hours to ensure proper testing at the border. The lab has a capacity to take up to 600 tests a day, this will ensure that we are testing more drivers and reduce the waiting time to get the results so that they can proceed to their destinations,” he said.

The truck drivers had decried the slow phase of screening and testing for the virus saying that they are forced to spend over five days at the border town, waiting for their results and clearance, making them to incur losses.

According to the new requirements set by the government, the drivers are expected to take the tests 48 hours before the journey begins and after every 14 days. 

They are also required to carry an attestation letter from the Ministry of Health indicating that they have tested negative.

The border town of Namanga receives at least 1,300 trucks a day and so far 545 tests have been conducted.

Charles Mkeke, a Tanzanian truck driver welcomed the move to set up a mobile laboratory at Namanga as it would speed up testing and clearance process.

Mkeke said he is incurring huge losses as he had spent six days at the border awaiting testing and results.