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Free Movements of Goods and Services in East Africa to Continue With Strict Screening Procedures Under COVID-19 Outbreak

East African Community -EAC Covid-19 free movement

The Ministers Responsible for Health and EAC Affairs of the six countries part of the East African Community met by video conference on 25th March 2020 to share existing knowledge and information on the COVID-19 outbreak, deliberate on the COVID-19 Pandemic, and map up containment strategies to stem out any further spread of the disease in the region and develop a clear plan to mitigate its impact.

The Ministers directed all partner states to continue implementing mandatory quarantine for 14 days for all travelers to the region and avoid imported cases by implementing strict screening procedures at all border points.

They also resolved to facilitate free movements of goods and services in the region, though ensuring that trucks/vehicles carrying goods have only 2 – 3 crew members per vehicle, and that truck drivers declare their final destination and stop only at designated points along the transport corridors to limit chances of spread of COVID-19 during transit.

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The Ministers also directed partner states to support local companies, to ensure the local production and availability of key consumables/products used in COVID -19 response including hand sanitizers, medical products, soap, among others, and to provide additional contingency and emergency funds to address gaps in prevention, impact mitigation and other interventions to mitigate the impact of COVID -19.

They also urged the EAC Secretariat and each partner state to mobilize resources and invest in public health systems to ensure resilience and health security.

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