What you need to know:
- County boss insists that 19 under quarantine will only know their status after State sends a plane to pick their samples.
- Roba said the county fears losing ambulances to Al Shabaab who are currently targeting both government and private vehicles.
At least 19 people quarantined in Mandera County will have to wait a little longer to know their Covid-19 status after Governor Ali Roba ruled out transporting their samples to neighbouring Wajir for testing.
The county boss said his administration will not send samples to Wajir by road while citing active Al Shabaab terror cells in both counties as a threat to road users.
Mr Roba insisted that the 19 under quarantine will only know their status after the national government sends a plane to pick their samples for testing in Nairobi.
“We wished to use the laboratory in Wajir but the current movement of terror cells in our region as known by the security agents and ourselves cannot allow us do that,” he said.
Mr Roba also cited impassable roads as another challenge.
“Impassibility of the roads in this rainy season is another challenge and we don’t want to put our staff and ambulances at risk,” he said.
He said the county fears losing ambulances to Al Shabaab fighters who have been targeting both government and private cars.
Both the State and individuals have lost motor vehicles to the terror group through carjackings, while others have been completely damaged by explosions planted along roads in the region.
Several security reports have shown increased movements of Al Shabaab insurgents in parts on Mandera South, Kotulo, Lafey and Mandera East.
Herdsmen have also reported losing their mobile phones to suspected terrorists in Mandera and Wajir.
Wajir is only 315 kilometres from Mandera while Nairobi is 1,200 kilometres away.
An optimistic Roba said his administration is in talks with the Ministry to set up a laboratory in Mandera to make testing easier.
“The Ministry of Health has promised to upgrade our capacity within one week but our best and safest alternative remains a flight to Nairobi,” he said.