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Editorial: Poor testing capabilities could be this region’s undoing

There is no more doubt, the hotspots of the coronavirus in this region is the Northern and Central corridors that link the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam respectively.

Now, most countries have beefed up their vigilance at borders which have caused a traffic gridlock with hundreds of trucks stuck at all the borders in the region.


Many countries delayed in improving their testing capabilities because the virus came like a rollercoaster; no one was prepared. But as more information began to trickle in, capacities increased and strict containment measures put in place, at least in Rwanda’s case.


Available data shows that Rwanda has so far tested over 45,000 people, the highest in the region. Kenya comes in a close second with around 37,000.


Burundi, which this week expelled the WHO team, revised their figures after a few days of silence. The new number of confirmed cases is 27.

Going by the fact that ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, electoral campaigns and mass gatherings have been going on unhindered, and low testing capabilities, the figure is improbable.

By its own account, it managed to test 158 people between May 5 and 8, which is an average of 40 people per day, and that was last week.

Whatever the case, the East African Community (EAC) has its work cut out for it.

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