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COVID 19: ECOWAS endorses guidelines for movement across borders

COVID 19: ECOWAS endorses guidelines for movement across borders
September 09
22:12 2020

The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has endorsed a unified guideline for movement across borders within the sub-region.

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The approval was granted by ECOWAS authority of heads of states and government at its 57th ordinary in the Republic of Niger on Monday.

Countries had earlier shut their borders to curb the spread of COVID-19.

However, with a reduced number of cases and increased recovery of infected persons, governments have begun to reopen economic activities.

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In a communique released at the end of the session, ECOWAS said there is a need for collaboration among member states in reopening borders to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

It also called for ideas on the establishment of pharmaceutical industries to boost healthcare in the sub-region.

“The authority further takes note of the need for joint and coordinated efforts in the reopening of international borders to ensure an effective regional response to the fight against COVID-19 and revive the economies,” it read.

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“In this regard, the heads of state and government endorsed the immediate application of the ECOWAS harmonised guidelines on cross-border transport, trade and health protocols in the COVID-19 pandemic and post-recovery within the ECOWAS region recommended by the Ministerial Coordination Committees on Health and Transport & Trade.

“The Authority urges member states, the commission, WAHO to propose urgently a strategy for the availability of anti COVID-19 vaccines in the ECOWAS region and support for the creation of pharmaceutical industries.

“In this regard, the heads of state and government direct the president of the commission to constitute a team of experts to conduct a feasibility study on the production of vaccines within the region.”

On the economy of member states, ECOWAS authority called on the commission to support countries in need of debt service suspension in 2021.

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It asked the commission to negotiate a reduction of cost of funds transfer from the diaspora to the region.

The authority also commended ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for the efforts to find a sustainable political solution in Mali.

It directed that the head of transition and prime minister, both civilians, should be appointed no later than September 15.

“Regarding the situation in Mali, the authority reaffirms its determination to ensure that constitutional order is quickly restored in Mali, with a political transition led by a civilian president and prime minister for twelve months,” it read.

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