Byron Kinene, the chairperson of the Regional Lorry Drivers and Transporters Association, has said that the delayed testing at the border points is causing congestion further increasing the risk of the spread of Covid-19 amongst truck drivers.
Speaking to the media, Kinene said it will be so helpful if East African governments adopt a common strategy to fight the pandemic.
His comments come at a time when government announced stringent measures for truck drivers to limit the spread of the disease since their services are essential.
One of the latest measures is to test all drivers before entering the country, restricting entry of anyone who tests positive for Covid-19.
Some of the issues Kinene highlighted include; congestion at the border with many drivers waiting for testing, traffic officers who ask for travel documents on the roads, scanners which are not well sensitized and overcrowding at port where goods are obtained.
He expressed concern about the hostility drivers are facing from the public.
“This is also a very big challenge but truck drivers are just service providers. They have families, wives, relatives and they also have different responsibilities,”he said.
He explained that after a driver is tested while traveling to South Sudan and other countries in most cases he is forced to carry passengers which put him at the risk of contracting the virus .
“When you go to South Sudan, the driver carries passengers not because of his will but he has been forced. So on coming back he tests positive,”he said.
However,Jacob Siminyu, the spokesperson of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control advised the drivers to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures.