Mistrust of COVID19 Results in EAC member states hinders movement of cargo trucks at Borders
There is growing concerns as more than 500 trucks are currently stuck at different points of entry within the East African Community with lines going as far as 25 kilometers as countries block drivers that have tested positive for COVID19 from entering.
Also, countries are doubting COVID-19 test results from their neighbors.
Last week, President Yoweri Museveni announced that all foreign truck drivers entering Uganda must have tested negative for the disease and should carry a certificate from home country.
This was a decision reached at by Heads of state of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan during a virtual summit held last week.
Uganda has since turned away all drivers that test positive at the border points of entry at Elegu in Northern Uganda and Mutukula in Southern Uganda, at the Tanzanian Border, while only Ugandans are allowed into the country and immediately referred to hospitals.
The move is aimed at solving the COVID-19 equation, however, it has become a burden to truck drivers, according to the Uganda Truck Drivers Association because countries doubt the results issued by other jurisdictions.
According to the association, drivers from all over East Africa are stuck at points of entry with cargo, something that is hindering business in the region.
Last week, a Kenyan driver tested positive for COVID-19 in Uganda but on returning to Kenya tested negative for the disease. Meanwhile, the Tanzanian government says that a number of drivers who tested positive in Kenya posted a negative result in Tanzania. This has accelerated the mistrust across the community.
At some border points of entry, drivers have been stuck since Sunday as their results have not yet been released. There is concerns that these could be exposed to the disease due to the poor surveillance at border points.
Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng says that the East Africa countries are yet to decide on standardized testing for the community.