By ZBC Reporter
THE issue of regional inter-trade in the face of Covid-19 was high on the agenda of the SADC virtual Extraordinary Council of Ministers meeting held this Tuesday.
Addressing journalist after a closed-door session of the council of ministers meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the conference dealt with the outstanding issue of coordination of interstate traffic in the context of the Covid-19 lockdown in the region.
“There was an outstanding matter which had to do with the coordination and management of road traffic or transit in between nations in the light of the pandemic which is Covid-19,” said Dr Moyo.
“And within that context there had to be a coordinated response by the region and that response required that member states to exercise equally equivalent patterns of action in as far as Covid-19 is concerned. This was in the manner in which drives of tracks, pilots of aircraft, crews of ships could be handle as they cross borders.
“And this was to be in the context of the World Health Organisation which required that the testing of members should be done after every 14 days and that when a certificate is issued in a member state that it must be acceptable and valid for 14 days.”
The meeting also addressed the issue of manufacturing, procurement and provision of medical drugs with a view of standardising the processes within the region.
“There was a decision which was also taken on the procurement or the capacitation of member countries and the region itself that it should enhance its capability to manufacture its drugs and that those drugs should be subjected to thorough testing so that they could be used interchangeably within nations and within the region. And above that, there has been an offer by India to provide drugs at a discounted rate to the SADC member states as a regional body so that they can benefit from economies of scale.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about the need for regional member states to constantly review and improve integration protocols to contain the scourge.
Countries are eager to re-open lines of trade within the region in a controlled manner to curb the spread of coronavirus.
By ZBC Reporter