A Mombasa-bound truck driver on Sunday evening checked himself in at Moi County Referral Hospital after receiving a call from Uganda Health officials confirming that he tested positive for Covid-19.
The trucker had travelled to Uganda through Malaba border on May 3, with a consignment of goods. After his samples were taken for Covid-19 test, he was allowed to proceed with his journey.
On May 7, the truck driver re-entered Kenya through the same border point and started his journey to Mombasa.
Reports say that on Sunday evening, the trucker was at Maungu area along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway heading to Mombasa when the call came through informing him of his tests results.
Taita-Taveta County Executive Member for Health, John Mwangeka said the shaken man had stopped at a check point and requested the officials manning the highway checkpoint to alert health officials of his Covid-19 status. The driver is reported to have asked them to direct him to the nearest isolation facility where he could get help.
The County Rapid Response Team rushed to the checkpoint where the truck driver was picked and rushed to Moi County referral Hospital.
Mwangeka said they had taken samples from the driver and sent them to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) laboratory in Kilifi for authentication of the tests results.
“Our team is in touch with the Uganda officials and ministry of health over this matter. We have isolated the man as we wait for our test results,” he said.
The Moi County Referral Hospital, Dr. Jeremiah Shem said the trucker was asymptomatic with his temperatures reading showing normal ranges. He added that the man was in stable condition.
“He is not manifesting any symptoms at all. The temperature readings are normal,” he said.
Already, the process of contact tracing has started to find people who might have come into contact with the driver.
Mwangeka said the county was well prepared to deal with Covid-19 cases and the medics were properly trained on the procedures of handling such patients. He added that staff in quarantine and isolation facilities had been supplied with adequate personal protective equipment.
He added that the truck had been disinfected and noted the county was in consultation with Ministry of Health to receive truck drivers’ samples collection kits.
“We are waiting for supply from National government of drivers’ sample collection kits so that we can enhance security along the highways,” he said.
This is the first Covid-19 case reported in the region. A fortnight, there was a scare when a Taveta man admitted at Taveta sub-county hospital turned out to be an escapee from a quarantine facility in Tanzania. The man’s covid-19 results turned out negative.
By Wagema Mwangi