Uganda commits to free COVID-19 tests to ease border trucks traffic snarl-ups
The East African Community (EAC) said on Tuesday Uganda has committed to conduct free COVID-19 rapid tests at the Kenya-Uganda border points of Busia and Malaba for seven days to clear the truck traffic snarl-up that has disrupted intra-EAC trade on the northern transit corridor.
A statement issued by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania's northern city of Arusha said this follows a joint multi-sectoral virtual meeting of the ministers responsible for EAC affairs, health and transport convened by the EAC secretariat.
Currently, over 4,500 trucks have stalled at the two border posts due to the mandatory COVID-19 testing requirement introduced by Uganda on Dec. 20, 2021, said the statement.
The statement said the meeting noted that this was a deviation from the 14 days COVID-19 testing period, previously agreed at the regional level and monitored through the Regional Electronic Cargo and Drivers Tracking System (RECDTS).
The multi-sectoral ministerial meeting agreed that member states should always notify each other in case of any deviations from the agreed protocols relating to measures against COVID-19, said the statement.
"This will mitigate the impact on movement of goods, persons, workers and services across the region," said Adan Mohamed, chair of the EAC Council of Ministers and Kenyan cabinet secretary for the Ministry of EAC and Regional Development.