The East African Business Council (EABC) has called on focal persons in Health and Transport ministries and the East African Community to speed-up implementation of directives agreed on last month for a common regional Covid-19 approach.
Speaking on Wednesday, June 3, a day after Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong announced that truck drivers without Covid-19 negative certificates will not be allowed into the county, EABC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Peter Mathuki, said there is need for a harmonised system for certification and sharing of Covid-19 results.
“Focal persons and the East African Community should consider a regional approach to harmonize system for certification and sharing of Covid-19 results and the testing and certification of truck drivers prior to their departure at the point of origin,” said Dr. Mathuki.
Although Governor Ojaamong limited the directive on trucks from Siaya and Bungoma counties, this may affect cross-border trade between Kenya and Uganda.
On June 2, at Ojaamong’s press conference, Busia County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri reiterated that the Government’s directive is that all truck drivers be tested 48 hours at the point of origin before beginning their journey.
Kanyiri said that truck drivers currently causing traffic at the Busia and Malaba border have defied the directive.
“Currently we have around 1,000 trucks in Busia and we are not sure of their Covid-19 status,” he said, adding that those who are already in the county will be tested.
He advised that the truck drivers get their COVID 19 certificates from Public Health officers stating that some drivers were presenting questionable certificates.
Currently, 72 Covid-19 patients are being treated at Alupe isolation and treatment facility against their capacity of 71.