The East African Community has suspended all planned meetings until further notice due to the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
In a letter to the EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumumkeko on Thursday, Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister and Chairman EAC Council of Ministers Vincent Biruta called for the postponement of all EAC meetings that require large crowds.
Consequently, the 21st EAC Summit that was planned for later this month has also been suspended until further notice.
The EAC 40th Ordinary Council of Ministers scheduled for April 14 has also been affected by the directive.
“As we are all aware, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), is rapidly evolving and spreading too many countries around the world. Several lives have since been lost and many people are being infected at a fast rate,” said Biruta.
“Against this background, I have the honour to kindly request you the following: To postpone the 21st EAC Summit until further notice; To hold all scheduled meetings by videoconference, where possible; and 3. To postpone and suspend all other meetings and activities that require large gatherings.”
The Arusha-based secretariat also announced that some member countries had banned international conferences indefinitely over the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Government of Rwanda also took measures to limit internal or international travels by its officials. All these measures will certainly impact on the quorum required for EAC meetings,” added Biruta.
The East Africa region has no confirmed cases yet.