EAST African Community (EAC) partner states have adopted the EAC Regional Electronic Cargo and Drivers Tracking System that will be hosted at the Community headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The system is expected to share truck driver's information leveraging on that which is managed and operated by revenue authorities in the region, and the existing health information systems in par ner states.
It allows users to share information across borders in a transparent manner, and the truck drivers will need to upload the phone app on their phones.
Continuous screening will be done at selected check points along the transport cor- ridors, which have already been designated, and information made available for all partner states.
A Joint Consultative Meeting of the EAC Ministers/ Cabinet Secretaries of Health, Transport and EAC Affairs was held via Video Conferencing on Friday and chaired by Rwanda's Minister for Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije.
Senior Public Relations Officer Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department at the EAC Secretariat, Mr Simon Owaka, said in Arusha yesterday that the ministers/cabinet Secretaries were informed that the truck drivers and crew members' mobile phones will be used as the tracking devices.
That will start once they commence their journey along the corridors, and com- mand centres will be able to communicate directly with the drivers as long as the phones are not switched off.
"Verification of documents will be done by customs, immigration, law enforcement agencies/ persons who will confirm if a particu- lar traveller is fit to proceed on their journey.
The digital surveillance tracker will interface and connect directly to designated laboratories in the partner states for purposes of Covid -19 laboratory results needed to generate the Test Certificates after the test," said Mr Owaka.
The system will be supported by four Command Operating Centres (COCs) located at designated national revenue authorities.
Among directives issued by the ministers/cabinet secretaries were for partner states designate, provide, establish or ensure that the required key enablers for the digital system to work are put in place.
The EAC Secretariat is to fast track the implementation of the EAC Digital Surveillance Tracker; coordinate rollout of the existing EAC regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System to cover the Central Corridor, and the Sec- retariat in collaboration with the partner states and national transporters associations to sensitize key stakeholders on the EAC Digital Covid-19 Sur- veillance tracker.
The Secretariat informed the meeting about resources mobilised for risk and community engagement to reduce the spread of Covid -19 in the region.
The framework will be implemented by partner states and partners including the In- ternational Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).
The ministers took note of the framework for the regional sensitisation and communication on Covid-19, and directed the EAC Secretariat to mobilise more funds to support the implementation of regional sensitisation and communication initiatives for Covid-19.