Tanzania has closed with immediate effect its border crossing point with Kenya at Horo Horo, accusing Kenyans of spreading Covid-19 in Tanga.
According to Tanga Regional Commissioner Martine Shigella, 19 truck drivers crossing Lunga Lunga/Horo Horo border point into Tanzania have tested positive for Covid-19.
“Since Friday we have recorded 19 Covid-19 positive cases, all Kenyans. I am hereby directing the provincial immigration department and all security apparatus to close our borders, including all unofficial entries. We cannot continue allowing sick people from Kenya to bring us Covid-19 by taking advantage of our freedom,” said Shigella.
Tanzania closes with immediate effect its border crossing at Horo Horo crossing point.
— Kennedy Wandera (@VOA_Wandera) May 18, 2020
This comes moments after Kenya announced that it had denied entry 51 Tanzanian truck drivers who tested positive for Covid-19 at several entry points along the Kenya-Tanzania border.
“They were denied entry after testing positive at the border entry points,” said Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman.
Further, the CAS noted that Tanzania posed a serious threat to Kenya. He reiterated that positive cases of COVID-19 will not be allowed into the country.
“Kenya has put in place to contain importation of the disease and now it’s from the land. That is why we have tightened measures at the borders. We have a threat from the Tanzania side.
“The results we are seeing is that there is a level of threat from Tanzania and it is our duty to continue testing and isolating them,” he added.
Tanzania has not been releasing its health reports concerning the Covid-19 situation in the country, and it is feared that the numbers could have risen exponentially.
According to reports by Aljazeera, as of April 30, at least 256 people had died of Covid-19 or suspected cases, but the numbers are not official.
Aljazeera reports that Mussa Kwikima, a retired high court judge in Tanzania, passed away on April 27 at the Kairuki Hospital in Dar es Salaam. The 81-year-old was tested for COVID-19 following his death and two days later the family was notified on the phone that the results had come back positive.
A close family member who visited the hospital on April 30 said that they saw the worker on duty open a book titled Mazishi ya COVID-19- Swahili for “COVID-19 burials” – and that Kwikima was the 256th name in the book.
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has been snubbing calls and meetings from regional heads of states so as to chat forward a common approach.
So far, Tanzania has 509 confirmed cases that have been announced officially.