An Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop has called for Corona virus mass testing in Busia County as the number of registered positive cases continues to increase daily.
The Katakwa Diocese Bishop, John Okude made the appeal a week after the re-opening of Malaba One Stop Border Post following a truck drivers’protest that paralyzed operations for six days creating the worst truck pile-up stretching to over 50 kilometres on the Northern corridor.
The clarion call came on Tuesday when the county’s Covid-19 positive cases rose to a high of 71 with all of them being truck drivers.
Okude who was speaking to the press said it is only through mass testing that the government can ascertain the level to which the virus has infiltrated into the community following the constant interaction between the drivers and residents of Malaba and other towns along the Malaba-Bungoma highway.
“As a community we are not safe. Poverty and ignorance are driving our people to mingle with others every day oblivious of their Corona virus status. We do not know who is sick and who is safe. This is endangering the lives of the locals as the truck drivers are among the primary carriers”. the Bishop added.
“To contain the transmission of the virus there is need for urgent mass testing. Let the Governor, Members of the County Assembly and other health stakeholders ensure the exercise is carried out for the safety of our county,” he said, adding that there could be many cases of Covid-19 within the community as people infected take time to exhibit symptoms.
The Bishop appealed to residents living along the highway to refrain from careless public interactions and observe the protocols set by the government to guard against contracting the virus.
On Tuesday, the Busia Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong banned entry into the county of all trucks, whose drivers fail to comply with the Ministry ofHealth guidelines of obtaining a Covid-19 negative certificate at the place of origin 48 hours before departure.
He issued the ban after all the 71 positive patients currently at Alupe treatment and isolation centre turned out to be truck drivers.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait