NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 9 – East African Community member states have been challenged to embrace a mobile application app – Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS) – that will enable mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results across the region’s borders.
European Union Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue has said the adoption of the application will go a long way in providing a surveillance system to monitor long distance truckers crew health and enable contact tracing.
“Partner states will be able to electronically share trck drivers’ COVID-19 test results therefore minimizing need for multiple COVID-19 tests in a single trip,” he said during the official launch of the application on Tuesday.
The reliance on manual certificates and delayed test results at the borders has been reported as one of the main reasons for costly long delays at the border points such as those witnessed in Busia, Malaba.
The delays have caused tail backs of trucks measuring tens of kilometers in some cases.
Mordue has insisted that with the system’s implementation where several ministries of health in the region will get to work together in stemming the spread of the virus across boarders the confusion is that is normally witnesses at the border points will be a thing of the past.
“The system will provide an efficient, transparent and accessible way to support the formal trade across the EAC borders and will help in sustaining the region’s economy,” he said.
He noted that the system is a game changer as it will help in managing the issuance of digital certificates for cross border movement of authorized persons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ambassador also pointed out that the application will provide a cross border joint coordination framework for the Ministry of Health officials along the transit trade corridor to control the spread of the virus across borders.
But more importantly he said, the application will enable cross border sharing of information relating to truck driver movement, behaviour while on transit and health status.
“A common approach to tackling the threat of Coronavirus to the East African Community’s economy is paramount,” he said.
The system is designed as a mobile phone application and will enable the issuance of the EAC COVID-19 digital certificates that are mutually recognised by Partner States, thus eliminating need for multiple testing as well as contributing to alleviating ongoing congestion at East Africa border crossing points.
It is expected to be in use in all the East African Community member states including Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda and extended to the block’s neighboring countries particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo.