Truck drivers in East Africa have been seen as one of the weakest links in the fight against the spread of coronavirus, concerns that have been heightened by claims that they are using fake certificates to cross borders.
The regional problem has, however, been dealt with in a disjointed manner after each country turned to its own efforts to address it without any encouraging results.
It is therefore a welcome move that the East African Community (EAC) member States have agreed to roll out digital Covid-19-free certificates to the truck drivers to curb the use of fake documents.
The move is also designed to ensure that truck drivers follow laid down protocols that include taking Covid-19 tests at the point of departure at least 48 hours before the commencement of the journeys. Hopefully, this will also ease traffic snarl-ups that have been witnessed at border points in recent days after drivers’ failure to adhere to Covid-19 protocols. In the short run, this should ease the flow of goods across borders.
Going forward, regional governments should fast-track the roll-out of electronic certificates that are supposed to be linked to all the laboratories to ensure a seamless and co-ordinated operation.
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