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137 stranded Ugandans return from Afghanistan

Some of the returnees from Afghanistan stand near a van to transport them to the quarantine centres

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Some of the Ugandans who have been stranded in Afghanistan since the emergence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) returned on Saturday evening. 

Majority of the 137 who returned were private security guards in Afghanistan. They arrived at 5:50pm aboard a flight operated by Egypt Air.

Shortly after the Ugandans arrived, two Ethiopian Airlines flights also landed at Entebbe International Airport. The planes carried a total of 72 humanitarian workers and diplomats from Juba, South Sudan and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As a result, 207 people including the Ugandans arrived in the country via Entebbe International Airport on Saturday. 

Richard Mugahi, the in-charge of quarantine centres at the health ministry, says all 207 people were transported to various quarantine centres, all private hotels.

Returnees who want to be quarantined in a private hotel meet their costs while those in the public quarantine centres do not pay any costs.

The Ministry of Health has gazetted 37 centres, where Ugandans returning from abroad will be quarantined. The centres have a total room capacity of 2,597. Of these, 250 are in three public facilities which are Mulago Paramedical School, Lands and Survey and the Fisheries Institute.                                                                   

Mugahi however says the 250 rooms in the public facilities have been booked or occupied by some of the people who returned during the week or will arrive next week.

Since Monday,  stranded Ugandans arrived from Afghanistan, Turkey, Belgium, The Netherlands and Sudan. The total number of stranded Ugandans who have returned home is now 200.

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