At a busy East African border, testing truckers created perfect conditions for coronavirus to spread
NAMANGA, KENYA — When Habibu Juma Ali lined up his truck full of Whitedent toothpaste behind hundreds of others waiting to cross the border from Tanzania into Kenya, he didn’t expect to wait two weeks to get tested for the novel coronavirus.
Truckers are permitted to drive across the otherwise closed border between East Africa’s two biggest countries, but for the first two months of the pandemic, they had to get tested at the crossing. More than 150 tested positive and were turned back. The rest spent interminable days waiting for their results.
Ali has spent his days on both the Kenyan and Tanzanian sides of the border town of Namanga, where, when you’re on foot, you can cross the border as easily as crossing a road. He has bought food at shops, exchanged money at banks and, at night, he sleeps huddled with other drivers on cardboard mats underneath his truck. They cook and share meals with newcomers as the line of waiting trucks grows. Others find racier ways to pass the time — chewing khat, shooting dice, hiring sex workers.
The truckers’ growing web of interactions points to a dilemma at international borders: how …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]