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3 COVID-19 patients recover as Kenya records highest single-day increase in cases » Capital News

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – Kenya has registered three COVID-19 recoveries, after the first and third patients fully recovered from the virus.

The first recovery was announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, March 25.

The
two other patients, Brenda Cherotich and Brian Orinda, appeared publicly on Wednesday
during a live video conference with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the two had been cleared to rejoin their families

“The
president announced earlier today that Brenda and Brian had turned negative on
two tests. They tested negative after being tested twice over a period of time
not on the same day. We are very pleased that they are now back home with their
families,” Kagwe said.

Brenda
had travelled to the United States of America in December last year, and came
back on March 5 via London.

She has been in quarantine for 23 days while Brian has been in the health facility for 2 weeks after contracting the virus from Brenda.

“I went to the US on December 19 and when I finished my stay I travelled to Cleveland and then to Chicago where I had a 10-hour layover. I then went to London and this is where I think I may have contracted the virus or on the plane while coming back home,” said Brenda.

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She added that three days after arriving in the country, she had a persistent cough and after observing her body for 3 days, she decided to visit Mbagathi Hospital.

“At
the facility they took me seriously and gave me a mask immediately I told them
I had travelled from outside the country. I want to assure Kenyans that this
disease is manageable and treatable,” she said.

Brian who contracted the virus after coming into close contact with Brenda said he had been in the hospital for the last two weeks.

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He
urged people to be careful and follow the guidelines set aside by the government
to ensure containment of the coronavirus.

“I
am glad that I am sharing my story and I hope people can now believe that
indeed the virus is real, and it is in Kenya. Many people in upcountry still do
not believe it. My aunt called me and told me that since I had contracted it,
she now believes its existence,” said Brian.

President Uhuru Kenyatta commended Brenda and Brian for helping in contact tracing and being responsible after they realized they had COVID-19 symptoms.

He
urged Kenyans to follow the example set by the two former coronavirus patients to
protect their loved ones, especially the elderly and people with
preexisting conditions, from contracting the virus.

“If
we were able to follow Brenda and Brian’s example, we can contain this disease.
As the two young people are showing us, we can not only contain this disease,
 but we can also treat it and get out of it. So, for all of us who are out
there with the symptoms, let us behave like these two brave and patriotic
Kenyans,” Kenyatta appealed.

The country has so far
recorded 81 COVID-19 cases after Kagwe announced 22 new cases.

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One patient, a
66-year-old who died while undergoing treatment, was diabetic.

The global pandemic has claimed
over 43,000 lives and infected over 800,000 others globally.

However, 184,596 people
have recovered.

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Tanzania: Border Tension Resurfaces…as Tanzanian Truckers Are Blocked From Crossing Into Kenya

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TWO weeks after Tanzanian and Kenyan leaders agreed on modalities for enabling truck drivers cross at border posts, Kenyan authorities have started blocking Tanzanian truckers from crossing Namanga frontier on grounds of lacking valid Covid-19 clearance certificates.

Responding in kind, Tanzania has also started restricting Kenyan truckers from accessing the country.

The government confirmed yesterday that Kenya is blocking Tanzanian truck drivers from crossing the Namanga One Stop Border Post (OSBP) claiming that they don’t have valid certificates that show that they have tested negative for Covid-19.

The development is contrary to the agreement reached in Arusha by transport ministers of the two countries at the climax of their one-day meeting at the Namanga border post on May 22, this year.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News’, Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Eng Atashasta Nditiye, said the move by the Kenyan side was a breach of the agreement and could trigger another dispute.

“Our counterparts are claiming that they don’t trust Tanzanian’s certificates and laboratories, but this wasn’t part of our agreement,” he told this paper in a telephone interview.

He said the move might lead to the revival of the dispute that had been resolved and cause unnecessary inconveniences. “

We learnt about these challenges facing Tanzanian truck drivers since yesterday (Wednesday), what is happening is contrary to the agreement reached by the responsible ministers, they have breached the resolutions,” he said in a nutshell.

On his part, Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Dr Godwin Mollel, said he was planning to visit the border post to assess the situation.

According to him, the government is still following up the instructions and agreement that was signed between the two parts in relation to instructions of the two Heads of State, President John Magufuli of Tanzania and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta.

“I will go to Longido on Monday next week; all we are doing now is to stand by the agreements that were signed as well as the directives from our presidents,” he said.

During the meeting, Works, Transport and Communication Minister Engineer Isack Kamwelwe and his Kenyan counterpart, Engineer James Macharia, agreed that truck crews from both countries must undergo testing before commencement of their trips at the point of origin per World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

The drivers would then be issued with a 14-day Covid-19 free certificate by competent authorities, which shall be mutually recognised by both countries.

However, this proved not to be the case as Tanzanian truckers were reportedly denied entry into Kenya, even when they had undergone the tests and had the certificates to prove that.

The long distance drivers are said to have been forced to undergo a second round of tests on the Kenyan side, much to their surprise and shock.

“Our truckers have been denied entry through Namanga as customs officials from Kenya demanded that they be retested at the border, which goes against the May agreements,” explained Longido District Commissioner Mr Frank Mwaisumbe when contacted by ‘Daily News’ yesterday.

The decision is said to have irked Tanzanian authorities according to Mr Mwaisumbe, prompting the area DC to seek guidance from his boss, the Arusha Regional Commissioner Mr Mrisho Gambo, who directed for a reciprocation.

No Kenyan truck was seen crossing the Namanga border into Tanzanian territory for the better part of yesterday.

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Dr Gabriel Mdachi, a senior health officer at the border town, expressed his displeasure over the conduct demonstrated by the Kenyan customs officials, saying it was against the spirit of EAC of deepening the envisaged integration.

Much as they tried to engage their Kenyan colleagues, the latter still maintained the stance of denying Tanzanian truckers entry even when they had the 14-day Covid-19 certificates.

“When we sought to find out from them, they reiterated to us that they were acting on their government’s directive,” explained Dr Mdachi.

On his part, an assistant Manager of Customs with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in Namanga, Mr Paul Kamukulu, expressed his surprise by the neighbouring country’s decision when the two East African partner states had buried the hatched.

“We were taken by surprise with our neighbours’ decision when we had put the matter to bed last month.” “Efforts to engage their authorities to iron out the issue fell on deaf ears as Kenyans maintained the stance,” he added.

It still remains to be seen whether the two countries will revisit the May 22 agreement to iron out their trade dispute.

During the meeting, Tanzania and Kenya agreed to reopen their borders after a tense week marked by a simmering trade dispute occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.