Mass testing for the coronavirus commenced on 19/04 at the Port of Mombasa for the employees of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
Acting Managing Director Eng. Rashid Salim and General Manager Operations and Harbor Master Captain William Ruto coordinated the exercise and were among the first 50 KPA staff to undergo the COVID-19 test.
Officials from the Mombasa County Health Department said they are targeting at least 1000 tests at the Port in the first phase.
Results of those who were tested 19/04 will be released by Tuesday this week.
The Acting MD announced that prior to yesterday’s mass testing exercise 157 staff in the Medical Services Department had been tested.
“We are happy to note that so far the results for all the first 42 employees in that Department were negative,” he said.
Eng. Rashid reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment in combating the spread of the virus through a raft of measures to guarantee the safety of staff and port users.
In the last few days, the Port has implemented several of these measures including fumigation of key equipment, operations areas, offices, and workshops. Sanitization and hand washing at the gates and entrance to buildings has been maintained.
“We are also checking temperatures of all those entering the Port to detect any suspected COVID-19 patients. On the seaside, we have put in place strict measures in conjunction with the Port Health to ensure that all necessary protocols are observed by ships scheduled to call at the Port of Mombasa,” Eng. Rashid said.
The General Manager Operations Capt. William Ruto added that so far, no crew of any ship calling at the Port has tested positive and therefore demystified the misconception that COVID-19 at the Port is being transmitted by cargo ships.
He noted that ships are required to declare their crew health status and the last ten ports of call. Those that came from countries infected by coronavirus are subjected to rigorous inspection, and crew are not allowed to get off the vessel.
The Ag. MD also observed that sensitization of KPA employees and the Port community is ongoing through internal communications channels and the local FM radio stations.