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Coronavirus: Kenya closes its’ border to Somalia and Tanzania

Kenya removes lockdown measures
Kenya announces phased removal of coronavirus lockdown, restrictions still in place

Due to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Kenya and also increased border infections (Kenya is almost at a 1000 cases), the president Uhuru Kenyatta declared the Tanzania and Somalia borders closed. “I know there is growing global pressure for easing of measures against this disease and for all of us to get back to normal,” he said. “We are going to step up our defence by employing stricter, more localised prevention actions.”

The president added that 43 people who recently crossed the border from neighbouring Somalia and Tanzania were among the most diagnosed recently. “Therefore, in accordance with the advice by the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus, and the National Security Council, I am directing that there shall be cessation of movement of persons and any passenger ferrying automobiles and vehicles into and out of the territory of the Republic of Kenya through the Kenya-Somalia international border except for cargo vehicles, with effect from midnight today, Saturday 16th, May 2020.”

The president also recently issues a directive that the lockdown measures underhand were extended for another 3 weeks ending on the 6th of June this year. The news was not received well by Kenyans who were well ready to resume work.

Uhuru also said that cargo vehicles entering Kenya will be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 testing and drivers will be granted entry only if test results are negative. The government said in recent days 78 foreign truck drivers tested positive for the virus at borders and were denied entry. “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. “If we had not undertaken this intervention, the imported cases through our borders would have today accounted for more than 50 percent of the week’s infections,” he said.

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