An agreement signed between Tanzania and the Kenya government to ensure truck drivers from either country are subjected to COVID-19 testing according to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards is expected to reinstate what was once a cordial relationship between the two countries.
The agreement which will ensure truck drivers from Kenya are tested for COVID-19 being entering the Tanzanian border and vice versa is meant to minimize COVID-19 spread across the Kenya-Tanzania border.
The agreement signed by both Transport CS James Macharia and Transport Minister in Tanzania Isaac Kamwele entails that truck drivers from either country will be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to embark on their journey from their point of origin.
The truck drivers, according to the agreement between Kenya and Tanzania, will be issued with a COVID-19 free certificate which will be valid for 14 days and will be recognized by authorities in the two countries.
The agreement also breaks down that a truck will only be allowed to carry up to a maximum of three crew members who will also be required to have a 14-day valid COVID-19 free certificate.
The trucks will have earmarked points where they will be allowed to stop and rest with the necessary amenities identified to necessitate their rest.
Tanzania and Kenya will also identify and designate stopover points were the truck occupants, who should be a maximum of three will be randomly tested for COVID-19.
Unlike previously when the Ministry of Health was at liberty to announce the nationality of those that tested positive for COVID-19, the newly signed agreement between Tanzania and Kenya prohibits the publicly announcing of the nationality of those that test positive and so the Ministry will simply announce the numbers without specifying whether Tanzanians or Kenyans.
In the event that a truck’s crew tests positive for COVID-19, then the vehicle’s owner will be allowed to replace the crew and proceed with the journey as the crew exposed to COVID-19 heads for isolation and treatment.
Tanzania and Kenya further agreed to revive the ujirani mwema and revamp communication to ensure swift business transactions between residents of the two countries.