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EAC unveils COVID-19 Response Plan

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 30th April, 2020: The East African Community has unveiled a comprehensive COVID-19 Response Plan to reinforce measures to protect and prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic within the region.

The response plan was developed following a directive by the Joint Meeting of Ministers responsible for Health, Trade and EAC Affairs held via Video Conference, which directed the EAC Secretariat to finalize and submit the EAC Regional COVID-19 Response Plan to the Partner States.

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EAC strengthens capacity of staff at international airports for the prevention and detection of COVID-19

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 30 April, 2020: Human mobility across countries, largely driven by air travel, has been one of the main vectors that facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, and many of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the EAC region have also had a history of air travel.

Airports in the EAC region enhanced their preparedness and response measures early and have been able to intercept several COVID-19 susceptible travelers through intensified surveillance and screening. Yet, airports continue to be high risk areas for the spread of infectious diseases.

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EAC Secretariat hands over Mobile Laboratory to the Republic of Burundi

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 23rd April, 2020: The East African Community Secretariat has handed over a mobile laboratory containing equipment and consumables including COVID-19 testing kits to the Republic of Burundi at the Kobero border post on the Burundi/Tanzania border.

Prof. Joseph Nyandwi, the Director General of the National Institute for Public Health in Burundi, received the mobile laboratory consignment on behalf of the country's Minister of Public Health and Fight Against AIDS, Dr. Thadee Ndikumana.

Prof. Nyandwi thanked the EAC Secretariat for the support which he said comes in at a time the country and the world was fighting to curb the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Mr. Wilberforce Mariki, the Director of Planning at the EAC Secretariat, who represented EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko at the handover ceremony, disclosed that the mobile labs project was an initiative of the Community to strengthen Public Health Reference Laboratories network within the six EAC Partner States.

Mr. Mariki said that the project would enhance the capacity of the Partner States to detect and respond to pathogens that could result in epidemics or pandemics in the region such as Ebola and the coronavirus.

Mr. Mariki hailed the Federal Republic of Germany through KFW, the German Development Bank, for assisting EAC with the necessary financial and technical support to get the mobile labs running.

He said that in addition to the items being handed over to the Partner States, the project had also purchased Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines that would be dispatched to the Partner States once they are delivered to the Secretariat, in order to complete the testing capacity of each mobile lab.

Two trainers of trainers and two drivers have already been trained by the project to enable them handle the labs effectively.

A total of 9 Mobile Laboratories are being deployed to the Partner States as follows: Republic of Burundi -1, Republic of Rwanda -1, Republic of South Sudan -1, Republic of Kenya - 2, Republic of Uganda - 2 and United Republic of Tanzania - 2.

Also in attendance at the event were the Director General of the Productive and Social Sectors at the Ministry of EAC Affairs in Burundi, Aimee Nkurunziza, officials from Burundi's Ministry of Health and the EAC Secretariat, and members of the public.

- ENDS -

For more information, please contact:

Simon Peter Owaka
Senior Public Relations Officer
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 768 552087
Email: sowaka [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2015 Certified

EAC deploys Mobile Laboratories and testing kits to all Partner States

………..As Partner States battle  COVID-19

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 15th April, 2020: The East African Community under the Mobile Laboratory Project has today deployed nine (9) mobile laboratories and Coronavirus test kits to all EAC Partner States in a bid to detect and respond to highly infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and Ebola. 

Speaking to the media while flagging off the mobile laboratories and equipment, EAC Secretary General, Amb Liberat Mfumukeko said tha each Partner State would receive a four wheel drive vehicle fitted with laboratory and ICT equipment, as well as all the necessary consumables for a fully functional laboratory with the capacity to conduct tests for Ebola and the Coronavirus in addition to other pathogens.

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EAC Secretariat urges Partner States to prepare economic recovery plans for the time after COVID-19

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 14 April 2020: The COVID-19 global pandemic is not only a major health crisis that challenges health systems across the globe. It has far reaching ramifications on economies worldwide. The medium- and long-term effects resulting from the measures taken to slow down and contain the spread of the disease remain unforeseeable.

The East African Community region is no exception. On a positive note, the free movement of goods and services in the EAC has been maintained and the supply situation for staple food and basic necessities is currently secured. However, on the negative side, enterprises across sectors including the agro-industry and particularly the informal sector are suffering. Value chains have been disrupted and tourism, a major source of income in the region, has come to a complete stand-still.

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East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org