KAMPALA- At least 124 foreign truck drivers who tested positive for COVID-19 have been turned back to their respective countries, health minister Dr. Ruth Aceng disclosed.
Speaking while receiving the assorted medical items from Microhaem Scientifics and Medical Supplies (MHS) worth sh155m, Aceng said if these truck drivers were to come into the country, it would be a challenge to identify them. Among the items donated include hand sanitizers, surgical masks, and PCR testing kits for Covid-19.
"Previously, the numbers were fewer and now they are more, therefore, there is a need to be more careful," said Aceng adding testing is ongoing at the border entries.
Aceng said foreign truck drivers who test positive for COVID-19 at the point of entry, will not be added on to the tally.
"Following the directive, we shall not be adding foreign truck drivers on to our tally. If we did, those numbers are huge, and could fill one of our hospitals," she explained
The managing director of MHS Cedric Akwesigye said in addition to the donation, they are partnering with MOH through Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) to set up Genexpert testing labs at border points, so far at Malaba and Mutukula, in a bid to test truck drivers before entry into the country and be able to issue results in one hour's time.
"Amidst the global demand, we are in constant touch with the manufacturer-Cepheid in order to ensure the continued supply of testing kits/cartridge and sustained testing at the border posts. We are also in touch with MOH to make sure that we install Genexpert machines at key border posts for example Milama hills, Busia and Elegu," Akwesigye added.