East Africa digital Covid certificate set for launch

Friday August 7 2020

trucks

Trucks queue on the Port Reitz and Dongo Kundu overpass heading to the port of Mombasa to pick up cargo. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA  

BUSINESS DAILY
By BUSINESS DAILY
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The launch of the digital Covid-19 certificates by East African Community (EAC) is set for Friday in a move that will curb the use of fake certificates and help in easing of congestion at the crossing points.

EAC says the system will be launched at border points of Malaba, Rusumo, and Kobero today (Friday), while at Mutukula crossing point and Namanga it will be effected on August 14 and 21 respectively.

Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking system will ease the movement of goods at the border points as it will allow sharing of Covid-19 test results of truck drivers electronically, eliminating the need for physical checks, which has been blamed for causing delays in clearance.

The reliance of hard-to-verify manual certificates has been blamed for costly long delays at border points, that sometimes last for weeks.

“Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracing System will be launched at border points of Malaba, Rusumo, Kobero, Mutukula and Namanga… this August,” said EAC.

The Ministry of Health had in June said the roll-out of the electronic certificate will be implemented once the member states put in place a technology that will link all the laboratories and ensure a seamless operation.

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The precautionary measures laid down by the ministry are meant to stop the spread of Covid-19 along transport corridors after Busia County emerged as the virus hotspot.

The move follows claims that truck drivers use fake certificates to cross to neighbouring countries and into Kenya.

It is also designed to ensure that truck drivers follow laid down protocols that include taking Covid-19 tests at the point of departure, 48 hours before the commencement of the journey.

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