Arusha/Kigali – The East African Heads of State are set to convene an Extraordinary summit on COVID-19 this Wednesday, April 15 via videoconferencing, the EAC Secretariat has confirmed.
The East African Community Secretariat confirmed the development after a suitable date was agreed on subsequent to consultations lodged by Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Hon. Vincent Biruta – who also doubles as sitting Chairperson of EAC council of Minister.
In a letter sanctioned by Hon. Biruta to the East African Community Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko highlighted the progress made on the initiative following an April 4 communication.
“With reference to our letter Ref. No: 1386/09.01/EAC/20 dated April 4 regarding the consultation on the suitable to hold an Extraordinary Summit of EAC Heads of States on COVID-19 by video-conference, I would like to inform you that after the consultations with all partner states, the summit is scheduled to take place on April 15, 2020 at 11:00 (Kigali time) by video-conference,” Hon. Biruta sustained.
The EAC Extraordinary summit on COVID-19 is set to be graced by Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), John Magufuli (Tanzania), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi) and Salva Kiir (South Sudan) over video-conferencing.
Rwandan Foreign Minister also confirmed that a joint Ministerial meeting for Ministers in charge Health and EAC affairs was held on the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response and a report was submitted to the secretariat.
Many developments have swept East African states in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as the counts sour prompting governments to take some actions.
Tanzania government. On Friday April 9, suspended international and chartered passenger flights in and out of the country subsequent to banning public gatherings, closure of schools, – with number of COVID-19 rising to 46.
“Following the review of the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent and across the world, the government of United Republic of Tanzania, has decided, effective April 11, 2020, to suspend all international scheduled and chartered passenger planes to Tanzania as a precautionary measure to combat the spread of COVID-19,” Hon. Palamagamba Aidan Kabudi, Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry
President Magufuli, however, asserted that places of worship would remain open.
Rwanda’s coronavirus cases rose to 127 with the recent confirmation of one individual made by Health Ministry from a pool of 901 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, with authorities further announcing recoveries reaching 42, after 17 patients were discharged from treatment facility on Monday.
Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Monday, April 13, announced that 11 new individuals had tested positive of COVID-19 pushing the count to 208. Mutahi also revealed that they had managed to test over 8,000 people to date.
Last week South Sudan became the 51st Country in Africa to register a COVID-19 case with the number reaching 4 as at Saturday, April 11. This prompted South Sudan President Salva Kiir to imposed a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for six weeks.