East Africa truck drivers to wear electronic trackers to curb spread of coronavirus
London, May 13, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Truck drivers in East Africa will henceforth wear electronic trackers as part of measures to help curb the spread of coronavirus in the region. That’s according to a joint decision by the heads of state of East Africa
The decision comes at a time of increasing concerns in the region over high numbers of long-distance drivers testing positive for Covid=19 at countries’ borders.
Increasing number of long distance truck drivers in Uganda, Kenya and other East African Countries have continued to test positive to the deadly virus
In a communique at the end of their meeting, the “heads of state noted that information sharing is key during a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic,” read part of the statement.
So far, movement for long distance truck drivers have not been restricted in the region since they are considered essential workers as they transport goods such as food and medication across East Africa.
At one point, Kenya subjected every long distance truck drivers coming into the country to compulsory coronavirus test for the safety of its citizens
Last month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni dismissed the possibility of stopping drivers from entering the country.
“We need the cargo. We need the goods. But at the same time we don’t want the disease… So don’t touch the driver, and the driver should not touch you,” he said.
Attending the video conference were leaders of four member countries: Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.
Conspicuously, their counterparts from Tanzania and Burundi were not present.
Tanzania has been criticised for not taking stricter measures to fight the spread of coronavirus in the country, an allegation that the government denies.
Last week, former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC that regional neighbours could close borders with Tanzania if the country did not impose tougher measures to fight the virus.
On Monday, Zambia closed its border with Tanzania after recording 86 new cases of coronavirus at the Nakonde border crossing.
The health minister said 74 of the people who tested positive were either truck drivers or sex workers.