East Africans have been called upon to turn out in large numbers and get vaccinated against covid as the only way to contain the further spread of the deadly pandemic.
Dr.Peter Mathuki the EAC secretary General said on Monday that resistance to vaccines was undermining efforts to jumpstart the regional economy after the damage caused by the virus.
He said that the global trend was that vaccination certificates would soon be required for travellers and those seeking to participate in meetings and conferences.
Dr. Mathuki hailed EAC Partner States for their on-going effort to integrate their systems with the EACPass, a digital system that would be used to track negative Covid-19 test results and vaccination certificates thereby easing cross-border travel and trade in the region.
The SG who was making his New Year Address to Staff of EAC Organs and Institutions through a hybrid format, said that synergy among EAC Partner States and other stakeholders was the best way to contain the pandemic.
“One of the most gigantic challenges of our time is how to manage our region with the current global pandemic. It is a daunting task to bring everyone on board in addressing Covid-19 related challenges, specifically to have a common understanding and appreciation of the risks, and to comply with preventive, containment and mitigation measures. I encourage that we pull together, notwithstanding that the situation is worsening with the emergence of the Omicron variant,” said Dr. Mathuki.
“We continue to operate under a challenging environment of Covid-19, which has and continues to affect every organisation and family. As a result of Covid-19, EAC as a region, has lost a number of leaders and citizens,” said the SG.
Dr. Mathuki reminded EAC Staff of their obligation to assist Partner States overcome diverse socio-economic and political challenges that face the region by developing relevant policies, strategies, guidelines and systems to address the challenges.
Dr. Mathuki hailed EAC Organs and Institutions for various achievements in 2021.
He disclosed that the East African Legislative Assembly had held eight (8) sittings during which it passed several Bills among them, ‘The East African Community Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ and ‘The East African Community Integrity and Anti-Corruption Bill, 2021.”