ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced members of the East African regional bloc or igad agreed to coordinate their effort in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
The PM said this after holding phone conversations with presidents of Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and South Sudan about the impact of the disease, a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus.
“We agreed to work in a coordinated manner to respond to emerging challenges,” Abiy said.
“Our regional integration goals need not be hampered if we align and lead with collective interests,” the PM added.
At least 43 countries on the continent have confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Africa Center for Disease Control.
Its figures also indicate there have been more than 2,400 cases and 64 deaths so far.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, warned last week that Africa should prepare for the “worst”.
The challenge is Africa is saddled with debt, making it difficult to effectively fight COVID-19.
Abiy said members of the intergovernmental authority on development (igad) countries “as a regional bloc can play a key leadership role to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and to effectively address the economic hurdles that this virus poses”.
All member countries of IGAD countries have coronavirus cases.