At least 400 truck drivers who were stranded at the Mai Mahiu dry port for the past one week over delay in Covid-19 testing have been allowed to proceed with their journey.
Lack of testing kits and reagents had caused a clog up at the newly opened Inland Container Depot, causing fear among local leaders and residents that the area might soon become a coronavirus epicentre.
Yesterday, government officials said the drivers would be tested along the country's border points before delivering their cargoes to the respective destinations in the neighbouring countries.
According to Naivasha sub-County Commissioner Mathioya Mbogo, the stranded drivers had been allowed to collect their cargo so as to address the current challenge.
Speaking in his office, Mathioya admitted that the continued stay of the drivers in the town posed a major risk to area residents.
“Most of the positive cases reported in Naivasha have come from the drivers in Mai Mahiu and their continued stay in the area puts the lives of residents in great danger,” he said.
To address the high number of persons seeking to be tested around the ICD, Mathioya said drivers would forthwith have to get certificates from their point of origin.
“The issue of testing kits has been a major challenge for this testing centre and drivers seeking to collect cargo from the ICD will have to get certificates from their point of origin,” he said.
The move follows the intervention of Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, who sought the president’s help to clear the backlog.
According to Nakuru County Executive Committee Member in charge of Health Kariuki Gichuki, the drivers together with motorcycle operators and commercial sex workers posed a major threat to the fight against the spread of the disease.
Gichuki said the county had done its part in allocating staff to the mobile testing laboratory, adding that it was the responsibility of the National Government to provide the testing kits.