Busia County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri has urged local residents not to discriminate against truck drivers over Covid-19 status.
Speaking to the press at Korinda junction on Wednesday, Kanyiri said that out of 6,000 truck drivers tested by health officers at Malaba border for the past three weeks, only 4 per cent had tested positive.
“There is an assumption that all truck drivers are Covid-19 positive, this is stigmatization,” he said adding that such drivers are hardworking Kenyans who contribute greatly to the country’s economy.
He added that those who have tested positive are being treated at Alupe isolation and treatment facility.
“Those whose results delayed have been taken to Aga Khan Hospital Kisumu, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru depending on where they received their results,” he said.
The County Commissioner also reminded hawkers who interact with truck drivers to wear face masks and adhere to other Ministry of Health directives to cushion them from contracting the virus.
“Alupe facility is already full to capacity”, he stated wondering where extra cases will be attended to.
Kanyiri appealed to both the County government and local political leadership to join hands and mobilize resources with a view to accommodate extra patients.
He noted with concern that some of the local residents do not wear face masks properly adding that both boda boda operators and their passengers should wear masks at all times.
The administrator further said that his team is awaiting the National Government directive on home based care in case the number of patients exceed the capacity of the available facilities.
“If approved, family members will stay with patients at home as guided by the government,” he said, adding that the County is currently using various learning institutions as quarantine facilities.
Kanyiri argued that those flouting government directives concerning Covid-19 should be subjected to harsh punishment as a deterrent measure to others.
“We have been arresting some of those disregarding the guidelines but the courts at times sentence them to community work for few hours,” he noted, adding that the County has been ranked third countrywide in terms of Covid-19 positive cases.
The exercise is being conducted by a team of 29 health care providers deployed by the National government three weeks ago to ease truck congestion at both Busia and Malaba borders.
By Salome Alwanda