Mass Testing for Covid-19
kicks off at the Port of Mombasa
Mombasa – April 20,2020
Mass testing for the
coronavirus commenced on Sunday at the Port of Mombasa for the employees of the
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) following a directive by Health Cabinet Secretary
Acting Managing Director
Eng. Rashid Salim and General Manager Operations and Harbor Master Captain
William Ruto coordinated the exercise and were among the first 50 KPA staff to
undergo the COVID-19 test.
KPA Acting Managing Director Eng. Rashid Salim (L) and General Manager Operations and Harbor Master Captain William Ruto engage in a discussion during the mass testing exercise.
On Tuesday last week, during
his daily briefings on COVID-19, the Hon. Mutahi Kagwe announced the government’s
plans to roll out mass testing exercise taking into consideration the risk
profile of clusters.
“In Nairobi for instance,
the quarantine centers, hotels and isolation facilities and hospitals are top
of our priority, as is the high population density area like Kibra. In Mombasa,
we are deploying one thousand testing kits to Kenya Ports Authority based on
the risk of transmission identified by our monitoring teams,” said the CS.
Officials from the Mombasa
County Health Department who are undertaking the exercise at the Port said they
are targeting at least 1000 tests in the first phase.
KPA employees queueing for the mass testing exercise.
The Acting MD announced that
prior to the ongoing mass testing exercise, 157 staff in the Medical Services
Department 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.
Eng. Rashid reaffirmed the
Authority’s commitment in combating the spread of the virus through a raft of
measures to guarantee the safety of staff and port users.
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 has
Medical officers extract nose samples from a KPA employee .
“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 General Manager
Operations Capt. William 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 to declare their crew health status and the last ten ports of call.
Those that came from countries infected by coronavirus are subjected to
rigorous inspection, and crews are not allowed to get off the vessel.
The Ag. MD also observed
that sensitization of KPA employees and the Port community is ongoing through
internal communication channels and the local FM radio stations.