Kenya adopts Trusted Travel digital tool for coronavirus test

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 00:00 |
A resident in Nairobi takes Covid-19 test. Photo/PD/FILE

The country has adopted the Trusted Travel platform for managing travels during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenya becomes the first African nation to launch the online system to provide travellers with information regarding their specific port of origin to their destination.

It will also list certified testing centres and create electronic health cards using a downloadable mobile app that travellers can use across borders.

The platform is based on Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Adopting the platform, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the online system will assist in authenticating and verifying laboratory test certificates for travellers.

He said this is a digitisation of the usual negative Covid-19 certificates that are already required for travellers who are entering Kenya.

The platform is a joint effort between the Kenyan government, the African Union and Africa CDC, with technical support from PanaBIOS.

African Union officially launched the Trusted Travel platform as part of the overall Trusted Travel Initiative during a joint ministerial meeting of the ministers of health, transport, and information and communication of African Union Member States last year. 

The platform was developed by PanaBIOS Consortium and Econet Group as a public-private partnership with Africa CDC.

 It is a top-class digital solution to support Member States in verifying Coronavirus test certificates for travellers and to help harmonise entry and exit screening across the continent.

Initiative will enable countries to keep their borders open for economic activities while preventing or minimising the spread of Covid-19.

Using the platform allows travellers to upload their Covid-19 test results online for easy verification by port health and travel officials as well as help in the detection of forged certificates.

Many countries in the region are currently easing their travel restrictions. “We want to make sure they are doing so safely,” Africa CDC Director John Ngengasong said in a press release.

There are 29 African countries currently that require a negative Covid-19 test from travellers before they arrive. Nine require tests to be produced on arrival.

“We need to harmonise and coordinate this to enable our economies to open up and work smoothly,” said Ngengasong.

“As our economies, schools and borders re-open, Africa needs a harmonised approach to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. 

Africa CDC, Panabios and Econet, will continue to provide technical support to the Government of Kenya in ensuring  the platform succeeds.

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