Health Ministry Suspends Mandatory COVID-19 Testing at Malaba Border

The Ministry of Health has announced a temporary suspension of mandatory COVID-19 testing for truck drivers at the Malaba border. In a letter dated January 15, the Ministry said the move was intended to ease the congestion that was starting to build up since the directive to use antigen RDT platform for testing Covid.

The Ministry says the performance of antigen RDTs among non-symptomatic individuals is poor, and it has slowed clearance at the border.

“This waiver and request to you will take immediate effect today, January 15th 2022. The temporary waiver will, however, be reviewed in next week’s East African Ministerial meeting.”

The traffic build-up started when the Ministry of Health introduced a requirement for all travellers and truck drivers to undertake mandatory Covid-19 tests at a cost of 30USD before entry into the Country. The move was, however, protested by the truck drivers, manufacturers and all businesses on account that it was costing much logistically.

The drivers threatened to abandon their trucks at the border. For over a week, the traffic stretched for over 50Km from the border point.

The situation at the border is according to many government officials to blame for the high fuel prices in the country.

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