East African leaders discuss COVID-19 efforts

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (far left) addresses other heads of state from the East African region during a COVID-19 meeting on Tuesday 12 May, 2020. /PHOTO Courtesy: Kenyan Presidency

Leaders from the East African region met via videoconference on Tuesday to discuss ways of bolstering the region’s fight against COVID-19.

The meeting was attended by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

The leaders agreed that there was need to prioritize the implementation of anti-COVID-19 measures at the border point in order to ensure uninterrupted cross-border movement of goods even as the region continues to battle Covid-19.

President Kenyatta informed his colleagues that his country had increased its testing capacity and that had played a key part in the fight against the disease.

“We continue to actively enforce contact tracing which has proved to be very effective in identifying those who have come into contact with infected persons,” President Kenyatta said.

The leaders also noted that the region needed to prioritize local production of essential supplies needed to combat COVID-19.

The larger Eastern Africa has recorded 6,461 COVID-19 infections and 199 deaths according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The pandemic has caused a slow down in the region’s economy and affected normal life.

In his address to his fellow leaders on Tuesday, President Kenyatta called for unity in the fight against COVID-19.

“A unified stand is what we need to combat this pandemic in the region,” he said.

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