Heads of States of member countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Monday agreed to formulate a strategy to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
The leaders held a virtual summit as the numbers of those infected continued to increase.
Present were presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Somalia) and Abdalla Hamdok (Sudan), with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (Ethiopia), and South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar representing President Salva Kiir.
In his address to fellow leaders President Museveni said that as they plan measures to combat the spread, they should also ensure food and industrial production are not tampered with.
He asked that mechanisms be put in place to ensure movement of cargo across the region to continue, albeit under standard operating procedures.
The leaders also agreed to establish an IGAD emergency fund for the control and prevention of pandemic diseases, and expedite the adoption of a co-ordinated, whole-of-government approach to responding to the Covid-19 pandemic…
The Heads of States agreed to direct their relevant agencies to enhance co-operation in border control and management, to ensure safety along common borders and guarantee movement of cargo.
The number of those infected in the eight IGAD countries was 168 by Thursday, from about 90 at the end of last week, with thousands more in mandatory quarantine.