The United States Ambassador to Kenya Kyle Mccarter on Sunday, April 26, put Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony on the spot after the Governor unveiled a Covid-19 testing centre with equipment capable of undertaking 2,000 tests a day.
"The equipment is top-notch and the KEMRI lab in Kericho is one-of-its-own kind. We no longer need to send any samples of suspected persons to Kisumu or Nairobi for analysis," Chepkwony had written.
With the Governor having failed to credit the US, which donated the equipment, McCarter took to social media to respond to a tweet questioning the project's funding, revealing that they had already donated and unveiled the very same equipment in January.
"I have never once heard who bought this equipment. You mean this equipment bought by the USA unveiled January 30, 2020?" McCarter posed in response to Chepkwony, further sharing photos of himself and the Governor launching the equipment in January.Some of the testing equipment unveiled by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony on April 26, 2020
Chepkwony was forced to issue a clarification, thanking the US for their support even as he maintained that the April 26 launch was specifically for the deployment of the equipment towards Covid-19 testing.
"Yes, indeed Amb McCarter. I acknowledge and appreciate the huge role that the United States has played in this process as I mentioned in my statement attached. What we launched yesterday was the deployment of this equipment towards mass testing for COVID-19.
"It was not possible to launch testing immediately because the equipment had to be reconfigured and reagents for use in testing of COVID-19 needed to be procured as well to enable the tests to take place," Chepkwony explained.
Seemingly convinced, McCarter noted that they had been collaborating well with the Kericho Governor and would continue to do so.
"We are collaborating well indeed. We will win against this virus together," he asserted.
Chepkwony had announced that, with upcoming upgrades, the equipment would be able to facilitate 6,000 tests a day up from the current 2,000.
He observed that the equipment would serve the larger Western Kenya region in testing for Covid-19.
"Soon, additional equipment will be activated to increase the daily testing capability to 6,000 per day.
"This service will be extended to most Western Kenya counties and will go a long way in boosting the national mass testing exercise and supporting the fight against COVID-19. Our mass screening exercise at all entry points into the county is also on course," he wrote.
So far, no confirmed case of Covid-19 has been reported in Kericho County.
Chepkwony revealed that over 50,000 people had been screened at entry points into the county with none found exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
Watch a report on the equipment below:
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