- Once the equipment had been calibrated, it will take between two and three hours for the results to be known, official says.
- But government spokesman Cyrus Oguna insisted the testing kits will not leave Namanga for calibration in Nairobi.
Kajiado county has received Covid-19 testing kits from the East African Community secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania.
The kits that arrived in Namanga on Tuesday evening will first be taken for calibration in Nairobi before being returned to the border town for use.
Kajiado county medical director Dr Ezekiel Kapkoni said the equipment they received from Arusha had been previously used for “testing other viruses elsewhere” and now requires calibration for coronavirus.
He said once the equipment had been calibrated, it will take between two and three hours for the results to be known.
Currently, Kapkoni said the samples for testing that are taken to Nairobi take between 20 to 24 hours because of the pressure of many test samples received countrywide.
But government spokesman Cyrus Oguna insisted the testing kits will not leave Namanga.
“Why would they be taken to Nairobi? For what? That kit, as we said, is for Namanga and I am not aware of its intended movement to Nairobi. We in Namanga, last week, said so,” Oguna said.
Oguna said the arrival of the equipment will ease the tests of the virus and relax long queues brought about by truckers on both sides of Kenya and Tanzania.
Earlier on Wednesday, Namanga Kenya Revenue Authority branch manager Sally Serem said traffic flow of truckers was steady but lower than before Kenya and Tanzania issued new cross-border directions last week.
“Tanzania has made it compulsory for our truckers to be tested even if they have a clearance certificate for coronavirus,” Serem said.
Serem said although the Tanzanian government had started testing Kenyans getting into the territory, they were yet to issue their truckers with Covid-19 clearance certificates.
“Their testing takes four to five days for the results to come out. What they do is, when they are presented with positive clearance certificates for coronavirus tests by Kenyans, the truckers are tested again and issued with temporary passes to proceed,” Serem said.
She said Kenyan truckers who happen to cross to Tanzania without clearance certificates are tested and kept at the border for four to five days as they wait for results to come from Dar-es-Salaam.
The KRA manager said Tanzanian drivers were cooperating and that they are tested by Kenyan doctors on their side.
“Once they are tested, they remain in their country until the results are received from Nairobi. When they are negative, we allow them to travel after Kenyan doctors have issued the clearance certificates,” Serem said.
Edited by Henry Makori