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KPA commences mass testing for coronavirus

Mass testing for the novel coronavirus (covid-19), has commenced at the Port of Mombasa for the employees of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
Acting Managing Director (MD), Engineer Rashid Salim, General Manager Operations and Harbour Master, Captain William Ruto, coordinated the exercise and were among the first 50 KPA staff to undergo the COVID-19 test.
Officials from the Mombasa County Health Department carrying out the exercise, today, said they are targeting at least 1,000 tests at the Port in the first phase.
Results of those who will undergo testing today will be released by tomorrow.
Eng. Salim, announced that prior to the mass testing exercise 157 staff in the Medical Services Department at the port had been tested.
“We are happy to note that so far the results for all the first 42 employees in that Department were negative,” he said.
He reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment to combating the spread of the virus through a raft of measures to guarantee the safety of staff and port users.
The Acting MD said in the last few days, the port has implemented several of these measures including fumigation of key equipment, operations areas, offices, and workshops. Sanitization and hand washing at the gates and entrance to buildings have been maintained.
“We are also checking temperatures of all those entering the port to detect any suspected covid-19 patients. On the seaside, we have put in place strict measures in conjunction with the Port Health to ensure that all necessary protocols are observed by ships scheduled to call at the Port of Mombasa,” Eng. Rashid said.
The acting MD also observed that the sensitisation of KPA employees and the Port Community is ongoing through internal communications channels and the local FM radio stations.
The General Manager Operations Capt. Ruto, added that so far, no crew of any ship calling at the Port, has tested positive and therefore demystified the misconception that Covid-19 at the Port is being transmitted by cargo ships.
He noted that ships are required by the International Maritime Authority to declare their crew health status and the last ten ports of call.
Those that came from countries that has reported infections by coronavirus are subjected to rigorous inspection and screening and the crews are not allowed to get off the vessel.
By Hussein Abdullahi

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