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Truck Drivers Welcome Electronic COVID-19 Tracking System

Under this system, a COVID-19 digital certificate issued by one country will be mutually recognized by the other countries, thus eliminating the need for multiple testing.
09 Sep 2020 12:57

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The East Africa Community Secretariat has rolled out its Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System that will enable authorities to electronically track positive COVID- 19 cases among truck drivers.      

Under this system, a Covid-19 digital certificate issued by one country will be mutually recognized by the other countries, thus eliminating the need for multiple testing. In April and May, truck drivers twice blocked the Uganda Kenya highways at the border points, protesting the slow COVID 19 testing process that took days for one to be cleared.     

At that time, more than half the cases in Uganda were drivers from Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania. The new system or RECDTS will help alleviate ongoing the congestion at the border crossing points, where queues of trucks have gone to more than ten kilometres, especially at Malaba, Busia, Nimule and Elegu.      

The surveillance system helps to monitor the long-distance truckers' health and eases contact tracing.  

RECDTS was developed in partnership with the European Union, Global Affairs Canada, Danida, a Danish aid agency, Finland, Netherlands and the United Kingdom through TradeMark East Africa.

RECDTS will apply in all EAC countries and later be extended to neighbouring countries, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers and Rwanda's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nshuti Manasseh urged all stakeholders to look at the positive side of the development during implementation.

The European Union Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue hailed the joint initiative saying a common approach to tackling the threat of Corona Virus to the East African Community’s economy is paramount.  

     

 The Chairman, Uganda Cargo Consolidators Association, Kenneth Ayebare says what is important is that the system aims at reducing the time it takes for a truck to move cargo from Mombasa to Kampala, and he hopes this will be achieved.  

//Cue in; Trucks have been…. 

Cue out….go back to normal.’’//  

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