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    Fact sheet: Getting a COVID-19 test result letter for drivers to visit or cross borders

    By Fredrique Achieng

    More than 14 test centres are now available for truck drivers and other workers crossing Kenya’s borders to get mandatory ‘attestation’ letters to show they have tested negative for COVID-19 48 hours before travelling.

    "Public transport is a very important player in terms of both transmission and also in the facilitation of economic development. With truck drivers moving from the coast to areas in the west, like Malaba, and into the other parts of the EA region, they are most at risk of contracting and transmission of this virus and we have to try our best to contain its spread," said Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia at a press briefing announcing the new testing regime.

    “Through a regional agreement, all truck drivers leaving their country of origin, for instance Kenya, and who are going to either just the border point or into another country, such as Uganda, will have to be tested 48 hour before leaving the country either from Mombasa, Nairobi or Naivasha,” he said.

    The truck drivers must go to a testing centre to have a test taken 48 hours before departure. The test costs Sh6,000, which has raised some controversy, with the Kenya Transporters Association saying the charge is too high considering that the government is carrying out similar test for the general public at no cost.

    However, once tested, the truckers’ results will be available after 24 hours. For those who test negative, their names and results are forwarded to the Emergency Operations Center of the Ministry of Health (MOH) which, in turn, forwards the names to the Port Health Officer at the Directorate of Public Health as cleared for border transit.

    trucksOnce a driver’s name has been submitted, a letter of attestation that they have tested negative for COVID-19 is prepared, which drivers must collect from the testing facility where they were tested.

    "For any driver who needs to carry their good they will have to produce the certificate before they are let in to either the Mombasa port, Nairobi and Naivasha ICD," said CS Macharia.

    Drivers crossing the border are also required to fill out a self-quarantine declaration and to register online at the border points. Moreever, trucks will only be allowed to stop at designated stop-overs during the entire journey.

    The letters of attestation will be valid for 14 days, after which individuals will have to get new tests and results in order to travel again.

    The public testing facilities providing the transporter tests and letters in Kenya are:

    Nairobi

    • NIC Lab
    • KEMRI CVR
    • KEMRI CDC
    • KEMRI HIV
    • National HIV Reference Lab
    • Kenyatta National Hospital

    Kericho

    • KEMRI Walter Reed

    Kisumu

    • KEMRI CDC
    • KEMRI Walter Reed
    • KEMRI CDC HIVR

    Busia       

    • KEMRI Alupe Lab

    Uasin Gishu

    • AMPATH Care Lab

    Kilifi

    • KEMRI Kilfi

    Mombasa

    • Coast General Provincial Hospital

    Alternatively drivers can get tested in private hospital facilities at a cost of between Sh8,500 and Sh13,000.

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