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Sadc for uniformity in fighting Covid-19

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The Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) has urged member states to revise their transport rules and regulations and make them uniform as they join hands in the fight against Covid-19.

Some member states have already revised their rules and regulations in a bid to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sadc Secretariat said in a statement that the Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee has solicited views to be incorporated into the Covid-19 related transport laws and regulations from 11 member states and have started analyzing them.

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“Member states who have not yet done so are urged to submit copies of national trade and transport facilitation guidelines that they have issued under the Covid-19 emergency,” reads part of the statement.

The Malawi government ordered a temporal restriction on international travels, except for those deemed essential.

There is, however, uncertainty on Malawi’s commitment to the arrangement as the Ministry of Transport and Public Works remains elusive on the matter.

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The ministry’s spokesperson, James Chakwera, said the country will conform to the agreed tenets by the regional block.

“I know that there was a meeting that all member states participated in and that was part of the discussion so Malawi is agreeable that there should be harmonization of the requirements that will be applicable in Sadc states,” Chakwera said.

Truck drivers in the country who traveled across the borders have since hailed the move by Sadc to have harmonized rules.

Truck Drivers Association, spokesperson, Paul Kachitsa, however called upon the government to consider engaging them before submitting views to Sadc.

“We want the Ministry of Transport and Heath to engage us so that we can make guidelines that will suit Malawi and not just copy and paste because even right now, conditions for truck drivers vary in different countries,” Kachitsa said.

Coronavirus has caused devastating effects on different businesses with transportation and hospitality being among those hard hit.

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