BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
The Econet Group and PanaBIOS have unveiled two new applications that will assist travellers across Africa comply with Covid-19 safety protocols.
The applications — Travel Pass and PanaBIOS App — have already been adopted by the African Union (AU) and the Africa Centre for Diseases Control (Africa CDC)-led Trusted Travel portal, which simplifies verification of public health documentation for travellers at national borders.
The portal’s key features include information about the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements, a database of authorised laboratories and vaccination compliance information, as well as Africa CDC mutual recognition protocols for Covid-19 testing, test results and vaccination certificates.
“This simply means that tests conducted in any member state of the AU, and even countries outside Africa, can be verifiable in all other member states provided the labs in which the tests took place have been registered in the digital registry,” an Econet spokesman said.
“We are urging all international travellers to download the Sasai App and have access to the Travel Pass that will help them to navigate through the safety travel protocols across the continent.”
The latest development comes as African countries are being urged to take appropriate measures to safeguard their citizens and economies from the deadly coronavirus pandemic as they reopen their borders to international travellers.
Several countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe, have reopened international airports, removed or relaxed curfews and resumed international tourism as a way of kick-starting their economies that were hit by the Covid-19-induced lockdowns.
However, there are fears that the continent could suffer a new surge in infections that might reverse any progress made in the past few months in curbing the spread of the disease, if travellers are allowed to cross borders without following proper protocols and procedures set down by the World Health Organisations.
This has resulted in the African Union Commission launching the “saving lives, economies and livelihoods” campaign aimed at reducing the spread of infections within and across borders by creating a unified public health corridor for safe travel on the continent.
The campaign will facilitate the development of a harmonised strategy to protect borders, travellers, economies, livelihoods and schools in Africa from the risk of increased Covid-19 transmissions as countries re-open their borders and their economies.